“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.”1
I am sure we have all heard the term “fun-sucker” before. It refers to a person who lacks a sense of humor, is negative, or shuts down the fun instead of participating. In the same way, a “joy-sucker” is someone who is determined to discourage you or create stress on your ministry or life in general. They are people who have a negative outlook, are attention seeking, are disappointed with some aspect of their life, and they will find something to criticize in everything you do. Since they are not happy people, they will do all they can to make others unhappy as well. If we take a moment, I am sure we can all think of a couple people in our lives that fit this description (and I hope it isn’t you!).
When surrounded by negative or short-tempered people, it is likely that over time you will start demonstrating some of the same behaviors if you are not careful. That is probably why today’s verse, and others throughout the Bible, encourage us to stay away from people like this altogether! Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit within us and is a testimony of who God is and what he has done in us. If you lack joy as a Christian, it is possible you have unresolved issues from your past that still have a hold on your life. In this case, I would encourage you to have an honest conversation with God about what those things are, and if needed, seek the help of a Christian counselor or pastor to walk with you through this process.
There will always be someone who makes being joyful difficult, but let us love them, pray for them, and learn to distance ourselves when needed. Setting healthy boundaries is important in helping us stay focused on the work God has for us. And let us be sure that we are not being a “joy-sucker” to others! Always start by looking inwardly before you start looking at others. The joy of the Lord is our strength and is just one of the characteristics of a follower of Christ.
Suggested prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the joy you have given me through your Holy Spirit. I ask that you help me always be an encouragement to others and that your joy would be contagious to those around me! Help me know when healthy boundaries are needed and give me wisdom to encounter difficult situations that arise. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Proverbs 22:24-25 (NLT).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.