The Misclassification of Joy and its Roots

Joy and its rootsMy wife is a fabulous researcher. When someone asks her a question she can put together a very thorough and educated response. My family has been blessed numerous times over as she responds to questions we have.

She was recently on a quest to find content for a short lesson she was leading at church and wanted to talk about joy and thankfulness. You know, this being Thanksgiving season and all, it was a good topic and what she discovered was a great blessing for our family.

As she searched the Internet for great content, she found a video of Dr. Brene Brown describing the connection between joy and gratitude. In the video (posted below), she describes her findings.

Dr. Brown discovered that joy is not the precursor to gratitude. Of course most of us assume that if you are a joyful person, you are going to have more gratitude. In actuality, it’s the reverse. Those that have the most gratitude are those that are the most joyful. Having gratitude first, leads to having joy. This is simple, yet profound.

As a family we decided to start focusing on gratitude. We all want joy and in this experiment we are going to see how it all works.

Here’s what we have started. When we eat dinner together we each go around the table and say what we are thankful for. Answers vary widely between my two sons and us parents, but it’s starting to help even though we have only been doing it for a week. I’m finding that everyday we have to train ourselves to be grateful.

Now it’s your turn. Take a moment (or longer!) and make a list of things you are grateful for. I did that in my journal and had plenty of items. What about you? What can you be grateful for? Did you just lose your job? Be grateful for the new opportunities and the chance to trust in God, your Provider. Are you healthy? Be grateful for health. Is someone close to you sick? Be grateful that you have an opportunity to learn to show compassion and mercy. Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, be grateful. It’s not easy, but if being grateful helps lead to joy, I’m all in.

In the comments below, please share what you are grateful for!

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“Those that have the most gratitude are those that are the most joyful.” @aaronzapata Click To Tweet

I Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

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