Tuesday, August 30, 2011


If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you've heard the "JOY" acronym.
You've probably heard it in Sunday school, sermons at church, Christian radio, and see it at least once a week in a forwarded email message covered with dancing smiley faces from that one friend that forwards EVERYTHING.

Jesus first
Others second
Yourself last


I don't care how many times I've heard it, I still need to be reminded daily.

Try this little experiment with me: Think about the last time you were in a bad mood. Now write down exactly why you were so grumpy in just a few sentences. Count the number of times you used the words "me", "myself" and "I". Now count the number of times you referenced Christ or someone else (other than to blame them for the reason you are so grumpy). If you are like me, your first number is in the double digits and your second number is zero. Where are we putting our focus?

Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last. The key to being joyful despite our circumstances is to keep our focus on God and others and less on ourselves. Keeping this acronym in mind during the day actually works! And do you know why? Because Jesus is the one who came up with it!

Matthew 22 talks about a group of Pharisees who wanted to put Jesus to the test. They asked Him what was the greatest commandment. Instead of replying with one of the 10 commandments they were familiar with, He gave them these 2:

  1. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." (v.37)
  2. "Love your neighbor as yourself." (v.38)
Not only did Jesus sum up all 10 commandments into two easy to understand laws, but He also gave us the J.O.Y. acronym. :-)

This is not a hard concept to understand, yet it is so hard for us to get over ourselves enough to actually put it into practice. Here are some simple things we can do to remind ourselves to have JOY:

  • Write it down and tape it up to the bathroom mirror... "JOY"
  • Get a good Christian friend or accountability partner to be a constant reminder.
  • Memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:16..."Be joyful always." 
  • Pray and thank God for all His blessings.
  • Spend less time complaining about our needs and more time meeting the needs of those around us.

Let's work on this together and be joyful followers of Christ!


  1. So true -- Joy is different from happiness - happiness depends on our circumstances but in Christ we can be joyful in spite of circumstances if we can die to self.

  2. I had actually never heard that before so thanks for sharing. so true and something I need to work on, thanks for the tips too!

  3. This is a lesson I am continuing to learn this week as the woman whose dog we are watching backed out of taking him back costing us a lot of money. But, as I said to the family last night, who were we doing it for? It had to be Jesus. This woman was not dependable in the first place and we knew that. Remembering this helps....a lot!

  4. I heard this acronym for the first time when I was about 8 or 9 years old and it has stuck with me ever since! Thank you for the reminder and the ideas because it can be easy to forget about putting God first sometimes.

  5. I had never heard that before. How cool.

  6. Thanks for the reminder. Now to actually DO it!

  7. Thanks for the reminder! I'm singing "the joy of the Lord is my strength..."

  8. I am 65 years old and I just can never stop learning and loving Jesus more and more every day!

    Thank You!!


  9. This is a great reminder for me. I tend to focus more on the negative than the positive sometimes...

  10. Wow! I don't think I have ever heard that before! Sharing on my facebook fan page!!

    Stopping by from the CASTTEAM Midweek Blog Blitz!


  11. Just posted it at https://www.facebook.com/ChariTs.Inspirational.Creations


  12. I've been a Christian my whole life and don't remember hearing this acronym before, although of course I've heard the concept.

  13. I love this. I have never seen it before either. Thanks so much for sharing. I wish I had known and used this when I was teaching Sunday School.