2 Easy Ways to Find More Joy
We live busy, noisy lives. Sometimes our thoughts, attitudes, and habits (joy stealers) can distract us from the joy that our Lord has for us, and we can miss out on the joy that is promised to us through our faith in Jesus Christ. But there are a couple of strategies that can help us keep our focus and experience greater joy. Listen to the “Joy Stealers” sermon from March 4.
- Be discerning about the people we hang around. It’s not that we need to be a “holy clique” and avoid people who are different from us, but we do need to be thoughtful and intentional about our relationships. If we hang around negative people who complain, criticize, gossip and pursue selfish desires, we will tend to adopt those attitudes and behaviors for ourselves as well. As the Bible reminds us, “bad company corrupts good character”(1 Cor 15:33). A good question to ask is this: “who am I hanging around and what are they doing to me?” Building Christian community requires us to intentionally enter into relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, relationships where we focus our attention on encouraging, supporting, and challenging each other to pursue the kind of life that honors the Lord and allows more joy to flow into us and through us.
- Be discerning about the kind of things we allow into our minds. We not only have a relationship with people, we have a relationship with our television, the movie screen, our smart phones, books, magazines and the internet. These various forms of media are bombarding us every day with messages, philosophies, value statements, and truth claims that can influence us in subtle (and not so subtle ways). A good question to ask is this: what am I watching these days, and what is it doing to me? What books am I reading? What movies am I watching, what songs am I listening to, what websites am I visiting? What video games am I playing? How are these and other forms of media impacting my life and my character?
Ultimately, joy is not primarily an emotional response to pleasant circumstances, joy is a character quality we cultivate. Few things impact our character as much as the people we hang out with and the media we consume. Let us be discerning and careful, because we don’t want the joy stealers to distract us from the joy that comes from a good and honorable character!
Pastor Mark Miller