Joy is spelled J.O.Y.

I have a friend who chooses a word each year to focus on.  I have admired this practice for several years but never got around to choosing a word.  This year however a word kept popping into my head, so I decided this was the year to give it a try.  The word I chose is JOY.  I chose joy because as a Christian I feel my life should be filled with joy, but I don’t always feel joyful.  I also love the acronym for joy - Jesus first, Yourself last and Others in between. 

I bet you are thinking this is all wrong.  I know we have been told for years that we shouldn’t put ourselves last that we can’t be useful to others if we don’t take care of ourselves.  Let me clarify, I am not suggesting that we should become doormats.  I am suggesting that we consider the opinions of others to be as valid as our own.  Also, their actions and words might be influenced by other things going on in their lives and it might not be all about me.  This is the outlook and attitude I am hoping to develop in 2018.

Something that breaks my heart is seeing friends of mine on social media being extremely nasty to each other because they are on opposite sides of one issue or another.  These are people I know care about each other but they are so consumed with the desire to have their views heard that they won’t allow themselves to consider any other view.  It seems we have lost our ability to compromise or at the very least agree to disagree.

As I focus on JOY this year my intent is to:

  • Spend less time on social media
  • Look for common ground with those who have different viewpoints than I do
  • Keep in mind that my greatest JOY comes from putting a smile on someone else’s face

Now that we are a couple of months into 2018 you may ask how I am doing so far.  Well, the year started a little rough. I was just a couple of days into the year when my resolve was tested.  (You have to love God’s sense of humor).  Someone close to me was inconsiderate and rude to me and I immediately wanted to retaliate but I took a deep breath and didn’t focus on my feelings in the situation but gave more thought to where they were coming from.  I don’t think they intended to hurt me, but I took it that way.  I was able to look at the situation more objectively and give them the benefit of the doubt.  There have been several similar situations.  Some I have handled well and some not so well.

As with so many things in life it is all about balance.  For me the balance comes from the JJesus.  When I keep my focus on him I have much more JOY in my life.