Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

Doubt. Separation. Joyless. Or perseverance. Hope. Joyful. Read on….

A month ago, I wrote about how consistent joyful living and consistent gratitude birth the character qualities of self-respect, self-control, and respect for others. Children with these qualities have healthier security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence. These are new and important reasons to prioritize joy and gratefulness when raising children. Of course, we can apply these ideas to ourselves, as well.

I’ve been writing about specifics related to gratitude. Today, let’s discover more about joyful living.

Joy and gratitude are related. No surprise, right? The rejoicing spirit that accompanies joy will see what to be grateful for and respond. It’s possible to be grateful without being joyful and joyful without being grateful, but I’m quite sure these will be occurrences attached to something specific and not a way of life. For self-respect, self-control, and respect for others to be consistent, joy needs to be consistent. So does gratitude.

What else do we know about joy? It’s dependent upon having a life purpose. This sure rings true for me. Purpose creates and causes so much. Energy. Perseverance. Curiosity. Optimism. Other-centeredness. Skill. Ability. Experiences. Hope. Direction. Focus. Teachability. Future-focused decision making. Connections. Joy. Joy. Joy.

Joy is also dependent upon forgiving those who hurt us. From personal experience, I certainly know this is true. When we don’t forgive, walls go up. Doors close. We question more. Doubt people. Doubt ourselves. Separation. We don’t relate to God the same. We’re restless. Angry. Hope fades. Loneliness. Answers are hard. Questions are easy. Can’t explain it.

When we do forgive, it all comes back. Joy is the result. Lasting joy. Until the next time, if we’re foolish enough.

How are you doing living joyfully? Successful? Struggling? Somewhere in between? What will you seek this week? More life purpose? Internal reflection to see if forgiveness needs to occur? May you be successful and then joyful!