Choose Joy


As servant leaders, one of our key responsibilities is to create a culture of joyous optimism rooted in the assurance of our faith.

A Chinese Christian shared his perspective of the American culture by saying, “Americans are the only people who begin a conversation by complaining.” In his experience with Americans who travel to China, Americans seem to complain far more than they should. Since hearing that assessment, I have started to pay attention to conversations and have concluded that the Chinese Christian is probably right—Americans do seem to complain more than they should. We complain about the heat, cold, rain, work, kids, travel, cost of living and the list goes on and on.

I began to ask myself, why do we complain so much? I particularly wonder why it is that Christians seem to complain as frequently as we do. 

I have discovered that individuals who maintain an optimistic view of life are people magnets; we want to be around these types of people. Why? Perhaps it is because they bring life to relationships and the workplace. In stark contrast, we avoid negative individuals as they suck life and joy out of the work place. 

As servant leaders, one of our key responsibilities is to create a culture of joyous optimism rooted in the assurance of our faith. How do we live a life marked by optimism? 

  1. Remember the work and home environment often mirror the leader’s personality and traits. If you tend to be optimistic so will others.

  2. Our view of life is a reflection of our faith in the Lord. Do you have a growing confidence in the sovereignty of God?

  3. Guard your words. Be careful that you use words that edify rather than tear down others. 

  4. Choose joy. One of the hard realities that I teach my kids is, “Life is not fair and on occasion it hurts.” In the midst of life’s challenges, choose to walk in the joy of the Lord. This does not mean we are immune from hurt and grief, but in the midst of our pain, there is joy.

  5. Compliment a person before saying something negative to them (even if the person you complain about is not around). 

  6. Express thanks before complaining!  Be thankful! 

Written by Jay Vineyard

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