Decisive joy

We can choose joy by rejecting every thought that is unlike joy.

A dear friend of mine has a tattoo on their wrist with this simple phrase: “Choose joy.” It serves as a reminder to them that joy is a choice, one that each of us can make each moment, every day. To feel joy, we really can choose joy. And we do this by rejecting every thought that is unlike joy—thoughts such as discouragement, anger, envy, and fear. 

The King James Version of the Bible includes over a hundred and fifty instances of the word joy. About half of those appear in the New Testament, and it’s not a stretch to say that joy is really at the core of Christian practice. The master Christian, Christ Jesus, told his followers: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:10, 11).

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