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Do you know what kills joy in your life?

Because I do…I can think of a whole list of things that kill the joy in my life. On the top of my list would be shame and comparison. I wouldn’t be surprised if they also found their way on your list.

Shame tells me that I am not enough and that I’ll never be enough. How can there be joy in not being enough?

Comparison turns the people around me or near me into competitors instead of brothers and sisters. While a competitive game of soccer might be fun, there is no joy when we compare our lives and our ministries to those around us.

Shame and comparison are my “killjoys.” Can you relate to those? Or what would there be other things on your list?

In the Epistles of Paul, the word joy is repeated over and over. Joy is even one of the fruits of the Spirit. Which would seem to imply that joy should be a reality for Christ followers. I think we all can agree that joy isn’t shallow or fake…but something greater than comes from the hope and faith we have in Christ Jesus. Mother Teresa said, “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”

Joy is a response, it is essential and it should be vibrant in our lives. If that is true than the very things that kill it must be removed from our lives.

How do you remove “killjoys” from our lives? (I wish this was a painless process…but I am afraid, it is not.)

  1. Shed light on it. Look at your life and honestly evaluate what are the things, emotions, or triggers that kill your joy.  Make a list.
  2. Confess it.  Don’t keep it a secret anymore. I am reading a lot of books about shame right now and one of the greatest ways to fight shame is to confess it to someone who cares. When we get it out of the dark and when we tell someone…we set ourselves free from it.
  3. Replace it.  Where there was shame fill it with hope. Hope breeds joy. Where there was comparison, fill it with community. Community breeds joy.

We bravely walk these steps because we know this truth, only in being people who are genuinely joyful {filled with the Spirit} can we build ministries that point a hurting and broken generation to Jesus.

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