This week, my kids discovered Looney Tunes. Thanks to the local library, they are wearing out a DVD full of Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat. And I’ll be honest, it’s pretty funny. Some things translate over time, I guess.
When I came home one afternoon last week, both Joshua and Andi were waiting for me at the front door. I was regailed by tales of cats blowing up, nesting birds, and speech impediments in animals. They, of course, didn’t just want to tell me about it; they wanted me to watch.
But then there was something else – they wanted to watch me watch it.
We started the DVD, and over and over again they both would say, “Watch. Watch. Watch. Are you watching? Daddy, watch. Here it comes… here it comes… here it comes… That was it!”
It actually got kind of annoying after a while. I was sitting on the couch, and I was watching. And they were watching. But they were no longer satisfied with just seeing the cartoon themselves – they had to pester me over and over again for me to watch it, too.
It was as if they wouldn’t enjoy the show nearly as much unless I was really enjoying it too. Or to put it another way, their joy in Looney Tunes was incomplete until it was shared with someone else.
“We are writing these tings so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4).
It’s striking to me that John didn’t say that he was writing his letter so that his audience would be educated. Or spiritually mature. Or have a better understanding. Surely all those things are true. But John acknowledged a personal benefit to his writing: It was so his joy might be complete.
To put it another way, there was some element of joy that could not be had until his faith – what he had seen and heard and experienced with Jesus – was expressed to others.
When God commands us to acknowledge Him before men in all the various forms that takes – worship, evangelism, a Sunday school class, or the simple act of conversing over spiritual matters with a friend – He is commanding us to not sell our joy short. To not stop until our joy is complete.
To take another and say, “Watch!”
Not just for their benefit, but so our joy may be complete, too.