What is stealing your joy? Chances are it’s not just one thing but a combination of ‘things’ coming at us each day. But when we start looking at our joy as a gift, we realize that it’s important to protect it, no matter what comes our way.
We all start our day with such hope.
Today is going to be different. Today, we will react with kindness and love when things are difficult. Oh yes, today, we will be smiling and full of joy!
I am so grateful that God, in His goodness, has given us His gifts, which includes His joy.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11
God’s joy is available for each of us.
Yet, as soon as we hop out of bed and out in the ‘real world’ there seem to be endless things trying to take away our joy.
Some of those ‘things’ include our own selves.
Also see: When You Feel Like You’re Failing…
Perhaps it that outfit that will fit perfectly if we lost the baby weight or an insensitive word from your partner that sounded harsher than intended, or the 2,143 emails sitting in your inbox waiting for your attention. (only me?)
How to Protect Your Joy
I realize something a while ago and maybe you know it too but it is this: Our joy is a gift from God, given freely and undeserved. As a gift, it should, therefore, be treasured and shared with others but never given away.
We must protect our joy, fiercely. Even from our own thoughts.Our joy is a gift from God, given freely and undeserved. As a gift, it should, therefore, be treasured and shared with others but never given away. We have to protect our joy! Click To Tweet
How do we do that?
(1) First, we have to recognize the goodness of the gift of joy.
Imagine for a moment that I gave you a gift. You open it but for some reason, you’re not excited about it. You think it’s okay but not amazing. Chances are I will feel really bad about giving it to you.
I might regret giving it to you altogether. Sorry, friend.
Similarly, joy is OUR gift from God. We do not deserve it, yet God in His goodness has given it to us. It is a gift available to all of us – you and me.
We should, therefore, be grateful for this amazing gift from God but also hold on to it tight and never give it away.
We cannot give it away to obstacles that come our way.
We cannot give it away to incidents that hurt our feelings.
And we certainly cannot give it away to circumstances that are beyond our control.
We must protect our joy!
When someone comes to you in a negative way, don’t give in to their negativity by losing your temper or yelling.
Instead, remind yourself that God woke you up this morning and His gift of joy is freely yours. Whether we accept that gift and claim it as our own is purely up to you and me.
Of course, there will be incidents that will make us lose our temper, feel sad, or hurt us in some way, but it’s vitally important not to give them our treasured joy.
When those incidents come by way, I say “This is hard, but I am not going to let it take my joy. It is my gift from God.”
(2) Secondly, joy is a gift to be shared.
If we go back to the story before, I hope that the gift I give you will bring you some happiness and that you will love it so much that you will want to share it with others.
That’s what we have to do with our own gift of joy. It should be given and passed around to others, especially does who do not have it for themselves.
When my kids get disruptive, and I notice they have lost their joy and are trying to take mine, I throw some joy on them.
I fold my fist like I am holding something and I say, “here’s some joy. I’m giving you some joy” and I make a move like I am throwing a baseball.
It always works. Either it diffuses the situation so we are all smiling or it reminds them that they are not protecting their joy and trying to take the joy of others.
Mother Theresa said, “Joy is the net of love by which we catch souls.”Click To Tweet
Sometimes we cannot get away from negative circumstances and in those cases, we should at least try to be the light in the darkness by spreading our joy to others.
So when the hard days come, let us remember that God has given us the gift of joy. There is strength in joy!
I hope this has given you some ideas on how to look at your joy and how to protect it.
God loves you so much that He wants you to be joyful, no matter the circumstances. It is a gift more valuable than gold and it is worth protecting.
Let’s throw joy around like confetti.
Don’t let anything or anyone take your JOY!