CHOOSE JOY, A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

In Kay Warren’s book, “Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough,” she condenses personality types down to the “Winnie the Pooh School of Personalities:”

  • Tiggers:  Tiggers are bouncy, flouncy, trouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! They bounce through life with a spring in their step. They laugh loudly at parties . . . they tell jokes, and they think everyone is their best friend. Even if they can’t remember your name, you’re their best friend. Of course, joy comes easily to them — right?
  • Winnie the Poohs: These gentle folks never get too excited about anything, but they usually have a pleasant look on their faces. They tend to have a hard time making up their minds about anything. They are usually happy to let someone else make the decisions. You ask them about going to lunch, and they respond with, “Oh, you decide.”
  • Rabbits: Rabbits are the task-masters of this world. Get it done, get it done right, and get it done now! Rabbits have a to-do list the size of Montana, and they don’t let much get in their way. They’re usually not the people you want to talk to if you’re having a rough day. They’re likely to tell you to “just deal with it.” Not so sure that rabbits experience much joy. If they do, it’s usually related to the completion of a task!
  • Eeyores: This is my favorite personality type. Eeyores are intense, serious people. They have their own personal, little rain cloud over their heads all the time. They feel things deeply and express things deeply. They get quite annoyed at all those stupid Tiggers who won’t stop smiling! Joy seems pretty elusive for the Eeyores of this world.

But that’s not what Scripture teaches us! Joy is for everyone, including Tiggers, Rabbits, Winnie the Poohs, and even gloomy old guys like Eeyore.

God’s Spirit is the Spirit of joy—His spontaneous work in us.   If Christ came that we might have fullness of joy; if the Holy Spirit is working in us to produce joy, then it is contrary to God’s purpose for us when we’re not joyful.  To be joyless dishonors God and denies His love and sovereign control over us. 

If we want this fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must know Christ, and remain in His love by walking in obedience to Him (John 15:10).  “I have told you this so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (v. 11).  Jesus reigns in the deepest depths of our being, His joy waiting to be tapped!

The God-shaped void within our heart

Cannot be filled by treasure;

It’s only God who satisfies

In ways we cannot measure.–Sper