To steal or not to steal….When it all boils down to it, that is the question. Most of us can say we have never stolen anything in our lives. It is not our nature or inclination to do so. Yet some of us are guilty of this on a regular basis without even realizing it. In this instance, I am referring to the stealing of one’s joy.
Having joy is a beautiful thing. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 states: Rejoice always… Does this mean that we must always be joyful, always rejoice? One would say that is impossible. But I believe that joy is not based on circumstances but rather a state of mind that rises above whatever is going on around you. It is putting your hope, trust and faith in a mighty God who you know beyond a shadow of any doubt has your best interests at heart and is at work constantly around you. Joy is knowing that even when bad things are happening to you, you know that things will get better or that it might be happening because of reason. It is not giving into despair, not giving up, and certainly not always following your impulses.
What we do as people is, we allow others to steal our joy. Now I am not talking about bad people or even people intentionally setting out to do so. Although in some cases, I believe this to be true. People steal our joy when we take our eyes off the Father and listen to the naysayers and the ones who constantly keep us in a state of confusion or despair. Even the people who always turn things around to make things all about them are guilty of stealing our joy.
Now I know some of you reading this right now, who know me, are probably asking “Is she talking about me?” Let me be clear this is not directed at anyone specifically but rather to all of us who find ourselves guilty of this, myself included.
Are we genuinely happy when good things happen to others? Do we carry underlying resentment when people seem to have things better than us and want them to stumble?
Joy is a choice! Every single person can have it. To do so, means being in constant communication with the Father, who is our source of joy. It means taking ourselves out of the center of our universe and putting God in his rightful place. It is knowing that you can choose how to react to things happening around you. If you have toxic people in your life, step back. If you find yourself being not so nice to others, stop yourself. There are times when we all must weigh what we say before we say it. Be a blessing to someone. Choose joy today and everyday, for we all deserve it!