Sometimes you get assigned to write about something you don’t want to write about. This week’s topic is one of those times. There are lots of reasons I don’t want to write about Joy:
- I can’t even define it! Really, what is joy anyway? Most dictionaries use it in the same breath as happiness. But we Christians insist it’s something more…deeper, even.
- I’m supposed to have it. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, after all. So I’m supposed to have something that I can’t even figure out.
- Most people get all deep and theological when speaking/writing about joy. I’m neither.
Even though I don’t have a well thought out the definition of joy, I think I know it when I see it…I have an idea of what it might look like:
Joy looks like happiness. I know it’s not only happiness, but it looks like happiness. Maybe part of joy is a deep happiness (think deeeeeeeeep, like a well of happiness).
Joy looks like contentment. Happiness tends to be affected by our circumstances. Contentment stands above our circumstances. It seems like contentment and joy are buddies at some level.
Joy looks like optimism. Not a pollyannic, naïve optimism, but a deeper sense of hope. Yeah, joy has some hope attached.
Joy looks like generosity. I can’t separate the two. Serving, sharing, and sacrificing seem like they would be obvious markers of a joy-filled life.
I don’t like writing about things I don’t understand. Why would I pen my thoughts about something I can’t articulate? Well, because it’s this week’s topic and Wednesday is my day. Oh, joy.
I can’t define it….but I think I know what it looks like.