Today marks the beginning of a brief series on “Joy-Killers.” Joy is one of our core values, is commanded in the Scripture (Phil 4:4), is a result of walking close with Christ (Gal 5:13), is found in the presence of God (Psa 16:11), and is something that everybody in the world wants. Yet, so few people truly have lasting, steady joy that endures difficulty — even Christians. The question is, “Why?” That’s what I want to explore together.

I have some ideas, but I’d love to hear from you. In addition to what I’m planning, I’d love to take some of your ideas and run with them in a future post.

What do you think are things that kill people’s joy? (Leave a comment below)


  1. #1 by Eloy on July 30, 2008 - 9:12 pm

    I think that many people (Christians included) put their faith and trust in the things of this world. As we know the things of this world are sure to fail us. Despite the disappointment the world brings us we look for the “next best thing” to fill that emptiness until it fails us again. For the unbeliever this becomes a vicious cycle and life becomes a continual “kill joy”.
    For the believer we allow sin to get the best of us. It is not until we realize that God is in control and HE alone can break the cycle by freeing us from our sin.
    Several guys and I from home group are studying James and I can’t help think about our study. James says, “Count it all joy when you face various trails”. James must say this because trails were and are a “kill joy” to believers. God calls us to trust in HIM and know that HE is sovereign but that is not all ways easy when life is not going according to our plan.
    Sorry Luke if I got to crazy with the post. I guess the short answer to your question would be 1) trails and 2) the world

  2. #2 by Carolyn on July 31, 2008 - 4:03 am

    I think we are so busy and so focused on “life” that we don’t stop and appreciate what we have and focus on the joy. As I’ve been listening to Tom’s recent messages on Ecclesiastes, he makes the point again and again that apart from knowing Christ there will never be joy. Humans look for it in things, and when they don’t find it resort to all sorts of sinful behavior. Yet Solomon knew that “under the sun” all attempts to find joy apart from Him are futile. The peace that comes from knowing that we belong to Jesus, and this world is NOT our home brings me joy. And when we forget about that in the messiness of life, that is a joy killer.

  3. #3 by Kristie on July 31, 2008 - 8:56 am

    I can relate to what both Carolyn and Eloy said for sure.

    I would also say guilt is a big one. When we fall or continually struggle with something we can go around feeling bad about it because a) we feel like we’ve let God down or He’s mad at us or we’re suddenly unworthy of His love (which is ridiculous b/c we’ve always been unworthy of His love) or b) we want to somehow punish ourselves until we feel like we’ve made penance for our sins and not feel so guilty anymore. It’s hard to feel joyful when we carry guilt around. We need to realize that Christ freed us from guilt so that we not only have the ability to be joyful, but we’re called to be joyful, even when we screw things up.

  4. #4 by rymes52 on July 31, 2008 - 1:04 pm

    1Pe 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
    To share a bit of Edwards if I may, he would suggest that joy, the affection of joy, as are all affections born from what we behold. So as others have already stated in the other posts, sin definitely does steal our joy. The truly lasting joy that endures difficulty is what the believers that Peter was addressing were experiencing. In 1 Pe 1:6 Peter tells of the believers being grieved by various trials, and yet rejoicing with joy inexpressible and full of glory. Edwards suggests that what we behold will affect our affections. so, 2Co 3:18 ‘And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,…’ The more I behold the glory of the Lord in His word, in His church through fellowship and worship, through His creation and other places as well, my joy is fuller and not as prone to deflating as a result of attacks from the world the flesh and the devil.

  5. #5 by Kristi on August 2, 2008 - 11:44 am

    When we expect a certain response or behavior from people and don’t receive the response we are looking for; we become disappointed and that robs us of our joy.
    We try to control situations forgetting that God is in control. Until we learn to, and truly serender to Him, we can not experience true peace and joy. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and everything in between. Amen!

  6. #6 by Kory on August 6, 2008 - 8:31 pm

    Addictions. Debt. Sin. Regret.

  7. #7 by Debi on September 24, 2008 - 10:16 am

    Surrounding themselves with negativity.

    I recently became unemployed. Prior to that my time at work with co-workers was a dismal time. The office is small so when one is fired it effects all, the morale was low, folks were angry and would gossip throughout the day. During one month’s time 3 people were fired without so much of a choice to improve. None of the people who were fired did anything that was unethical. They just did not have the tools to excel in their position. Without the tools needed how can one be successful? The joy was not able to be found, no one was willing to find it, and instead filled their time in negative gossip.

    When I was laid off I became very sad. Here I am a good and loyal employee and felt that I was making a difference in what I was doing. I joined all the internet web sites in hopes of finding employment. As I would have my quiet time I would ask God why did this happen? In this time of economy? I for a moment felt hopeless and certainly felt no joy. finally, a few weeks after me trying to be still and quiet and listen to Him. He gave me the ability to see. While I was working one of the first things I did when I came in and booted up computer was turning on KLOVE. I needed to hear His songs, His words. I tired to put on His suit of armor but was struggling. I believe now that I was not supposed to be there. that I was not strong enough to thwart the negativity that surrounded me and that was robbing me of joy. He was (is) saving me from the lack of joy that as Christians we should all want to have as a part of our lives. Got to learn His time… His is faithful~

    I should have just said “ditto to Eloy!”

  1. Joy-killer #1: Sin « Second Mile Church
  2. Joy-killer #2: Idolatry « Second Mile Church
  3. Joy-killer #3: Death « Second Mile Church
  4. Joy-killer #4: Unmet Expectations « Second Mile Church
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