Do you believe you can be happy and sad at the same time?
I don’t. I think that if you answered “yes” to that question, you’re really saying that you can be joyful while you’re sad.
The distinction is important. Joy is more than a feeling. Joy is deep. It speaks of contentment with life and oneself. Joy is an outward expression of an inward state of being, whereas happiness is a temporary and fleeting emotional experience. I believe that you can fool someone into thinking you’re happy, but you can’t fool people about your joy. Fortunately, you can increase joy in your life. You can start by watching how your kids so freely express joy.
Children Show Joy In Amazing Ways
Children are the best example of true joy. When I come home from work, especially when I’m late, my girls come running to the door yelling, “Daddy! Daddy!” with huge smiles on their faces and a genuine desire to see me and hug me. This inner joy comes from a genuine and deep love that’s rooted in their hearts. It’s not taught; children are born with this innate ability to be full of love and joy.
Joy, like love, can endure through hardships and pain. Joy sees the other side of the trials and patiently endures knowing that your experiences will help you learn and grow.
Our Pets Show Us True Joy and Affection
Our furry friends also give us some of the best examples of joy. Soon after my wife, Kari, and I got married, we bought a dog named Brodie from the pound, and he immediately attached himself to me and I to him. He was a border collie-Australian shepherd-rottweiler mix with a cute little stub tail. He had black, brown, and white markings similar to some Australian shepherds you see out there.
Brodie would always greet me with unabashed joy and excitement. He would walk up to me with his body in the shape of a C with that little stub tail going up and down a hundred times a second. Then, he would force me to pet him by shoving his nose under my hand. He would then flop down on his back and expect a belly rub, and if he didn’t get one, he would return to the nose-under-my-hand routine.
Without fail, Brodie would bring an energy and joy into my life just by greeting me. This was a true expression of love toward me and joy to see me. Brodie had a genuine joy for life and for being around me. I miss him greatly, but he personified joy for me and always brought such encouragement to my life. If only you and I were able to do this in every interaction, what mighty changes we would see!
Increase Joy In Your Life
It’s even possible to increase joy. Scripture says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
3 Ways to Increase Joy:
- Spend time reading the Bible and Praying. God created this amazing emotion, when we spend time with Him, we get a deeper experience and understanding of joy.
- Practice unabashed expressions of genuine excitement and appreciation. Freely express excitement for other people’s achievements and your own. This will fill your joy bucket.
- Be grateful. Be grateful for the good and the bad. A great way to do this is to write down or speak aloud 3-5 things you are grateful for every day. Be grateful for the lessons of success and failure.
I believe we can replicate this expression of joy that we see in our children and in our pets. I believe joy has changed the world and will continue to. But the question is, will you hide your joy, or will you fully and unabashedly show it like my children and my dog? What are some things that bring joy to your life? What can you practice today to increase your joy?
Comment below and share this post with your friends.