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Fort Wayne, IN 46802
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Choose joy, don’t steal it

There’s a fairly popular contemporary Christian song by Zach Williams called “Old Church Choir.” In the lyrics, Williams proclaims that he will not let anyone steal his joy. In fact, he proclaims, “There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy!”

There are so many distractions in our world today that attempt to steal our joy. From the 24- hour news cycle, to the challenges presented in daily life, we are constantly confronted by people, events and circumstances that can steal our joy.

I found an anonymous quote while searching “joy stealers” that I found to be a helpful reminder when it comes to joy. “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

We have to make a conscience effort to be people who embrace, embody and extend joy!

Joyce Meyer encourages us to, “watch out for the joy- stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.” Gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and negative judgmental attitudes are the enemies of joy. These are not necessarily outside forces, but things that come from within… and can steal our joy. Yes, we can steal our own joy!

In Galatians 5:22-23, we find the fruits of the Spirit, which are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Rather than gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding and negative, judgmental attitudes, we Christians should be known by the fruits of the Spirit. That takes effort. That requires us to make a daily choice to choose joy.

I believe one of the ways we can choose joy is to commit ourselves to practicing Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.”

When we can gossip, choose kindness. When we can criticism and complain, choose compassion. When we can find faults and are tempted to lead with our negative, judgmental attitudes, choose forgiveness.

As we choose joy, we will find that we are less likely to steal others joy – and instead create an environment of joy. It’s my hope and prayer that First Wayne Street will be a church known by its joy!

“I got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul
I’ve got a sweet salvation and it’s beautiful
I’ve got a heart overflowing ‘cause I’ve been restored
There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy.” (Zach Williams, “Old Church Choir”)