Friday, July 16, 2010

Joy Stealers

The writer in me compels me to be a consummate and perpetual student of human nature. I quietly observe people and learn from their behavior, whether it be to derive wisdom, to avoid making certain kinds of mistakes, or just to learn the basic ins and outs of common everyday psychology. I find it to be a fascinating study.

One of the most consistent personality types that I've taken note of over the years -- but which I truly don't understand -- is that of the 'joy stealer.' This type of person seems to have an aversion to other people whom they consider to be joyful. You've probably even come into contact with one of them yourself every now and again. When they see an individual who appears to be exuding joy they instantly go on the defensive, directing a finely-tuned laser beam of contempt towards the receptacle of joy. They just don't like them. And if truth be told, they can't even give a specific reason as to why they don't like the other person.

Now we can toss around all kinds of theories about this -- the joy stealer isn't happy within himself so he can't bear to see others happy, he tends to be envious by nature, or maybe he's just plain mean. For the purposes of this post the reasons aren't what's important; what we're establishing is that these kinds of folks exist.

I'm making this my topic for today because it's been my observation over the last few months that the joy stealers seem to be winning! They go out of their way to stamp out joy wherever they find it by whatever means necessary, and they're doing it with a minimal amount of resistance from the ones they're attacking. I want to exhort you right now, never let anybody steal your joy.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, a sign of His indwelling us. The enemy knows this and sends his children to steal it away. I have to admit that there have been occasions in my own life where I've allowed joy stealers to kick down the door of my spirit, burst in in a spiritual home invasion, and steal every ounce of joy that they could find.

Let's make up our minds that from this point forward we're going to aggressively defend our joy. Greater is He that's in us that he that's in the world (I John 4:4). Put the enemy under your feet and keep him there where he belongs.

Have you ever come into contact with a joy stealer? How did you handle it? Worse still, have you ever been a joy stealer? How did you overcome having that type of spirit?

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Romans 14:17, KJV


  1. I live with a joy stealer. I thought I coined the term, but decided to google it and happened upon your article. Thank you. I needed to hear these words tonight. To answer your question, i'm leaving just as soon as I can afford to and until then...Jesus strengthens me. Nobody is gonna steal my joy!
    Dawn, Marie

  2. So sorry that you're going through right now, Dawn. You're on the right track--don't ever let anybody steal your joy. I'll be praying that God opens the door for you for better living arrangements.