Get rid of the joy killers!
By Doug Cox
Have you ever wondered why you are not enjoying life? Joy and happiness are dead and gone. Do you feel unhappy and depressed? Are your emotions unbalanced? Instead of being happy about someone else’s success you are jealous. You try not to show it. You feign a smile in front of others, but jealousy is there. Maybe at work you go along to get along, but anger is rumbling beneath the surface. Most people don’t know it. Well, maybe it’s a little evident because you’re often sharp and snappy with your words and quick to criticize but nobody says anything. Or maybe you are good at hiding it at work but when you get home the family gets to experience the anger you spared your fellow workers.
Being jealous, critical, angry, indifferent, unsettled, icy and bitter are a few of many emotional weights that can drag us down in life. Many times, we pick up these negative emotional rocks (NER’s) and put them in an unbreakable bag in our soul at times of hurt. Someone else gets promoted after we were promised it and worked to earn it. We can use this betrayal to justify our right to be angry. People say one thing and do another, so we justify our right to feel indifferent. Being icy is justified. Why should we engage if our opinion doesn’t count in the first place?
Have you ever noticed that the rocks you throw are the same rocks you carry? Fighting and arguing with others can stem from unresolved inner battles because of rejection or personal failure. Instability outwardly can come from insecurity inwardly. Criticism and negativity over the success of others may stem from resentment. We could talk about many unhealthy attitudes. But one thing we must realize is our self-justification to carry joy killers is where the poisonous brew of bitterness can begin to stew. Hebrews 12:15 says “see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (ESV) It can be hard to resist picking up the NER’s especially when going through a real hurt. However, it will be harder still to overcome the damage they can do to your soul (and others) if you nurture them carrying them forward into life.
What can we do? We can realize that others around us have the same problems we do but many of these people are joyful anyway. (They simply have chosen to handle life differently). We can admit we have a problem and most of our problems are not everybody else’s fault. We can realize Jesus Christ wants to be our Advocate and help us sort through our struggles. There is nothing like His strength to help our weaknesses. 1 Peter 5:7 says “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]” (AMP)
Unhealthy, out of control emotions have consequences, and the Lord Jesus wants us to unload this weight on Him. Talk to Him and admit you need help. Ask Him for it. Seek out people who know Him, sometimes they can help as well. Remember to be decisive. Cast all cares ‘once for all’ on Him. Though hard to do at first, resist the temptation to put them back in the bag and you will notice that joy will start to flood your soul.