What brings you joy?
And I’m not talking about happiness, which is conditional; I’m talking about true joy.
Our emotions are often compared to rollercoasters, and for a good reason. A day doesn’t seem to pass where something doesn’t shake us up a bit – whether it be a big challenge or rather minuscule – maybe a C on a test you studied hard for, maybe not getting the callback for the play when you thought you had it .
And even when nine good things happen throughout the day, sometimes that one “bad” thing burrows under our skin and plays tricks with our mind. There are some days when we let the momentary negatives get the best of us.
Let’s hone in on that last line – we let the momentary negatives get the best of us. When it comes down to it, we are the ones who have the power to control our emotions – how we’re going to think and act when we’re faced with hardship.
When someone at school says some snarky comment about your presentation, you have the power to turn the other cheek and have grace or let it stew in your mind and make you upset. When someone offers you the shot glass of tequila after you’ve had a stressful day at work, you have the power to say “yes” or “no.”
In the end, it is you who decides how to keep joy present in your life. If you believe that no one or no thing can ever take away your joy -God’s love for you and your love for Him and His beautiful creation- then it is within your capacity to let anger, bitterness and sin cloud it.
When you let the world dictate your feelings of joy, when you let temptation stray you away from what you know in the truth, you bring muck into your life that cakes your joyful spirit, deceiving you into believing all joy is lost, or that joy is only found in earthly material.
In Galatians 3, Paul speaks to the people with deep care and concern, saying, “What has happened to all your joy? […] Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” 3:15-16
When you let the world take you over and forget the joy that God placed at the core of your being, sticking to His message becomes less of a priority. You might even find yourself slipping away.
“Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.” 3:17
What things do you let into your life that take away from your joy? … why do you choose to let that happen?
What things do you let into your life that magnify your joy?