Is Someone Else's Attitude Stealing Your Joy?

When someone is nasty to you, what do you do? Do you mull over what they said, wishing you had thought of that great come-back? Or at least had the courage to put them in their place?
What about when someone around you is depressed, does that mellow your joy?
Does someone else's bad, gloomy day, make you bad and gloomy?

As women, we are made to respond. Our husband leads, we respond. That’s how we are made.

But what happens when what we are given is a bad attitude?

In a household of eight boys, I am surrounded with testosterone. Men are made to be warriors, to confront, to challenge. That means sometimes the battle is thick and the attitude is great.

Women want to nurture, to fix broken things, to make people happy.
That’s not always possible.
With some of my sons when they are crabby, I could do nothing to make them happy. That’s their choice. But I found, because they were crabby, I had to work even harder not to be crabby with them or at them.
When it’s the husband, it’s even harder. (That's not to say that he gets crabby, mind you.)
How do you choose to be happy when those around you have chosen to be crabby?

Notice my choice of words: “chose.” You don’t have to be in the depths of despond, just because everyone (or just someone) has chosen that for themselves.
It is a choice.
Realize you cannot change someone else.

You cannot make someone else do what they should.
You cannot make them happy.
If their crabbiness is making you crabby, look where your focus is…

Yes, I understand you want to help them. But you can’t.

“These things have I written unto you that your joy may be full.” Paul doesn’t add, if everyone else is happy…it just says that your joy may be full.
Even in this imperfect world, with unhappy people around you.

Where’s your focus?

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Jesus didn’t have great things to look forward to. He had the cross. But He looked beyond the cross, looked beyond what this world offered.
He looked for the eternal hope.
Jesus remains constant even in the ups and downs of this world’s lack of joy.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
He wants our joy to be complete in Him.
“These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” I John 1:4

What if your children aren’t walking in truth? Is that cause to lose the joy given by God?
“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4
Did Jesus know that some would reject Him? He still had joy.
That doesn’t mean that you turn off your concern for your wayward child. But sometimes thinking about them all the time kills your joy.
Commit your loved ones to God. Give Him the burden of their waywardness.
It is a moment by moment existence, isn’t it?
I fall into despair so easily.
We are to grieve with those who grieve. But not be crabby and depressed, because of their choices.
Nor are we to live like we have no hope. just because someone else is.
Stop, check your focus, and re-align to God’s view of this world and the hope that He has given.
He gives hope.
In His hope, joy is found.
His joy is constant.
Reflect Him.

How do you keep your focus when others close to you are crabby?

You are so right. It's much easier to fall into a crabby mood to fit others around us, but that isn't what God gives us. He wants us to have His joy, but that's only when we allow Him to fill us, not others. Thanks for a good article.

So good, Sonya!

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I write about what you---
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about your family, faith and future.
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I show you how it's done. And not done.
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               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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