Whether you realize it or not all of us have an influence on others, with this in mind, we have a magnificent opportunity, as it’s easy to be someone whose presence people look forward to as a source of joy.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”
Sometimes it’s hard to step outside of ourselves, but have you ever considered how you go through life and the way in which other people may perceive you?
Do you spend a lot of your day complaining, angry, worrying or being pessimistic?
If you do, you may not be aware that such an attitude may be exhausting to other people. They may be less excited about your presence than you realize.
On the other hand, you may be someone who is always optimistic, smiling, jovial, joking, and encouraging. People tend to welcome someone like this and look forward to the company of this type of person. This person is joyful.
Here are a few brief examples of things we can do to create a joyful impression and influence on others.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”
– Philippians 4:4
Joy is a state of mind. Being joyful is something we can choose. Why? Because no matter what happens to us, we always have a choice on how we allow circumstances to make us feel and how we react to them.
For example, if someone uses words to insult us, it is actually up to us on the degree to which – or not at all – we allow those words to make us feel insulted. We don’t have to believe their words and we don’t have to acknowledge them. If we don’t, then their words lose all meaning and impact.
The same is true when something happens to us. We can let it ruin our day or our life, or we can move beyond it and not allow it to define us.
Life is a series of ups and downs, and we can focus on the good or the bad. It is up to us.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,”
Think about a veteran who is come home from a war zone without legs. This person can choose to be angry and bitter for the rest of their life for what they sacrificed in the service of others and their country. Or, they can also choose to be proud and joyful about their sacrifice. They can find meaning and happiness in their family and loved ones around them. They can put their hope in all the things they can still do, see and discover in the remaining days of their life. Bitterness or joy are a choice.
The same is true for the rest of us, especially when the vast majority won’t have the type of challenge described above. Yet, many people can’t seem to find joy when their problems are so much smaller in comparison.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Our absence of joy often comes out of worry and fear. We focus on problems in the present or past, as well as anticipate those in the future.
But for Christians, faith in God and Jesus Christ the Savior eliminates worry and fear of the future. In contrast, it offers a promise of eternal joy and happiness in the family of the kingdom of God.
Faith alone is a source of joy for Christians. The Holy Spirit fills Christians with joy.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”