21 Common Habits That Steal Your Joy
Rejoice always. (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
When it comes to rejoicing, people fall into one of two groups.
The first group says "I want to rejoice, but..."
The "But" is usually followed by at least one circumstance (work, unemployment, financial, etc.) that keeps them from rejoicing.
The second group rejoices, despite their circumstances. I believe they have discovered that, in order to rejoice always, there are certain habits that they must avoid. Those habits are:
1. Expecting a problem-free life.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart. I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
2. Dwelling on negative thoughts.
Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. (Proverbs 4:23)
3. Speaking negative words.
The tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21)
4. Living in the past.
I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach for what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
5. Worrying about the future.
Do not worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
6. Comparing themselves to others.
Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won't need to compare himself with someone else. (Galatians 6:4)
7. Trying to control things outside of their control.
Let go of your concerns. Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nation. I rule the earth. (Psalm 46:10)
8. Holding a grudge.
If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your father will not forgive you the wrongs you have done. (Matthew 6:14-15)
9. Allowing their heart/feelings to control them.
The heart is deceitful above all things; and desperately sick, who can understand it. (Jeremiah 17:9)
10. Saying "But" without following it with "God says".
"I know I should not worry, but...."
"I started to worry, but God says...."
11. Taking responsibility for other's feelings and actions.
For each one will have to bear his own load. (Galatians 6:5)
12. Beating themselves up.
He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)
13. Falling into the "If - When" trap.
"I will rejoice if.." my health improves"; "my kids do well in school", etc.
"I will rejoice when.."I get a job", "I retire", "my kids are on their own." etc.
The Bible says: This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
14. Seeking recognition.
Watch out. Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)
15. Engaging in self-doubt.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
16. Forgetting what God has done for them.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord, yes I will remember your miracles of long ago. (Psalm 77:11)
17. Forgetting God's promises.
God has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:4)
18. Insisting on following their plan instead of God's purpose.
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)
19. Complaining or grumbling.
We should not test the Lord, as some did - and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did - and were killed by the destroying angel.These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:9-11)
20. Maintaining toxic relationships.
Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." (1 Corinthians 15:33)
21. Mistaking this world for home.
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our savior. (Philippians 3:20)