People love a party. Even the Bible talks about celebrations. It is good to highlight those occasions when something special has happened like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and promotions. But what about other milestones? Are they important to remember? Let’s talk about celebrating the good things in life.
The psychology of celebration
There seems to be science behind almost everything we do. Celebrating the good things in life is no exception.
“Our brains are wired to respond to rewards. Celebrating … any accomplishment, no matter how small, releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which boosts your mood …” (1)
Celebrations are types of rewards. Furthermore, dopamine is not the only “happy hormone” that is released when we celebrate with friends or family. Our bodies also release serotonin and endorphins, which both increase mood and contribute to social bonding. (2)
“According to researchers, when we stop to savor the good stuff, we buffer ourselves against the bad …” (3)
So not only is celebrating beneficial for our overall well-being, but it feels good and gives us the energy to keep moving forward.
Importance of celebrating the good things in life
While the science of celebration helps us understand why we like parties, there are other good reasons to celebrate the good things in life.
- So we don’t forget
- To develop more gratitude
- Greater awe and wonder for our amazing God
So we don’t forget
My aging mother used to say, “I have a good forgetter”. But the truth is that if we don’t keep reminding ourselves of the good things in life, we can be overcome with fear and anxiety when life gets tough. Likewise, we can become complacent when life is going smoothly. Both extremes create temptations that can lead us away from God.
To developed more gratitude
As we remember God’s gifts, we will grow in our gratitude and contentment. It also helps guard us against envy, greed, and jealousy.
Greater awe and wonder for our amazing God
As our gratitude grows, it automatically turns to awe for our amazing God. The natural response then is to worship Him for His love, mercy, grace, kindness, faithfulness, and so much more.
What the Bible says about celebrations
In Biblical times, God commanded His people to celebrate the good things that He did for them. This was done through worship songs, building monuments, and symbolic feasts.
After the Israelites had gone through the Red Sea on dry ground, and their enemies were drowned when the water came back together, Moses and and Miriam led them in songs of worship to God. These songs are found in the Book of Exodus chapter 5.
Then, when the Israelites needed to cross the Jordan River, God performed a similar miracle by stopping the water long enough for them to cross over to the other side. This time they built a stone monument to thank God, and to remind them and their children of God’s faithfulness in years to come. You can read this account in Joshua chapter 4.
To this day, Jews remember the Passover when God rescued His people from slavery and bondage in Egypt.
The celebration mindset
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ” Philippians 4:8 ESV
Celebrating the good things in life certainly falls under the “honorable, lovely, commendable, and worthy of praise” categories. Never underestimate the value of a celebration mindset. It’s Biblical. It relieves anxiety and contributes to peace. (Philippians 4:6-9)
Things to celebrate in life
Birthdays and wedding anniversaries are the most common things that people celebrate. Parties for graduations, promotions, and other important milestones are other events that often result in some type of gathering. But there is so much more that can be remembered and celebrated.
Good spiritual things in life
Some of the good spiritual things in life that could be celebrated include:
- Your spiritual birthday
- A decision to serve Jesus in a particular calling
- Overcoming a sin in your life
My mother’s biological birthday was on the first day of the month. Her spiritual birthday, when she gave her life to Jesus, was on the second day of the same month. Although she died 10 years ago, I still remember her spiritual birthday. Why? Because we celebrated it. No, there wasn’t a party, but we always remembered that significant day in her life.
The date when you decided to serve Jesus in a particular calling is another reason to celebrate. For instance, you may have decided to become a missionary, children’s minister, or some other change in your life’s direction. Remembering this date through journalling, and annual celebrations is important. Why? Because there will come a time when life gets rough that you will doubt your calling.
Overcoming sin in your life is a possible celebration date. Again, when life gets rough, you may be tempted to go back to the old ways. It helps to have annual reminders of God’s grace in your life.
Good emotional things in life
Emotional events in life are often very personal. You may or may not celebrate them with others. Here is an example. I celebrate my “flight to freedom” in the fall. This was when I had to leave my home with only an hour and a half to pack and get out the door safely. Although it happened years ago, I still remember God’s goodness in removing me from that oppressive environment that had me in emotional bondage. My journal included the many ways that God met my needs in that very uncertain time in my life. My flight to freedom was the beginning of emotional healing.
Other good things in life
Our family often remembers when we purchased the farm. We discuss the changes that have taken place since then. You may have purchased a home or moved to a new city. Whatever has significance to your life is good to remember as these are all gifts from God.
A really simple way to remember some of the good things in life is to have Christmas ornaments that commemorate those events. Then each year when you put up your Christmas tree, and when you take it down, you see the ornament and think about what it represents.
Final thoughts and a gift
Celebrating the good things in life can be very formal, such as a 15-year-old girl’s quinceanera, a 25th wedding anniversary, or a “celebration of life” for a loved one who has graduated to heaven.
Likewise, some good things in life can be celebrated in simple ways through your home decor, a discussion around the dinner table, or a phone call to someone who has been a mentor in your personal growth.
Some celebrations are very personal and don’t require others to be present.
When we celebrate the good things in life it can be an act of worship to God. At the same time, we improve our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Celebrating the good things in life comes from a celebration mindset. To help you maintain this way of thinking, I want to give you a Scripture card and bookmark that are free to download. No email is required.
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