This time of year we hear an awful lot of talk about Joy. We hear carolers singing, “Joy To The World.” We see signage in stores emblazoned with the world JOY in the latest hipster font. We can find racks full of shirts and sweaters screen printed with some cool phrase with joy in it in some sort of distressed font. However, with all the conversation and mention of the word, this time of year seems to more void of actual joy that the rest of the year.
Why is that? Why does the Christmas season run so low on real joy?
I believe the reason is due to what I call “Joy Stealers.” These are the things in our lives that we allow to redirect our attention from the goodness of this season and God himself. These things are tactics of the enemy – Satan – whose mission is to kill, steal and destroy.
So, what are some common “Joy Stealers”? I am not sure what steals joy for everyone, but here are a few I have experienced…
- When I expect a moment or experience to be perfect and bring me joy.
- When I expect people to NOT be in a hurry and drive with some civility. (Maybe that is more of a pet peeve and not a joy stealer.)
- When I get more wrapped up in celebrating Christmas than worshipping Christ.
- When I develop an attitude that I deserve something and don’t get it.
- When I feel like I didn’t buy enough or do enough this Christmas.
Do you notice a common theme? It’s me. Only I can allow my circumstances and situation to rob from the joy that God intends for me to experience. Only I can chose to worship Jesus over a holiday that quite often has very little to do with Him.
So, what steals your joy? What keeps you from experiencing the joy of the Lord this time of year?
Remember what John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” So, don’t let the enemy use a season that should be all about the celebration Jesus to steal your joy. It’s up to you.