by Julie Jaunese

Some people think of joy as a goal.  Some think it is more of a result of someone’s personality.  But how can joy be a result of a personality?   How can you achieve joy?  Read on…..

When I was a little girl my mom was part of the JOY club at church.  She explained to me that joy was about being a Christian and each letter stood for something we needed to remember:

  • J is for Jesus
  • O is for Others
  • Y is for Yourself

Mom said you always put Jesus first, then others and lastly yourself.  I am so glad my mother taught me this very simple thing. 

We should always put Jesus first.  When we are in time of trouble, we run to Him!  Who else could love us so much?  We should remember to always thank Him for His love, His caring, His desire for a relationship with us.  A good friend once said, “We all look for solutions to our problems by looking to the world first, then when we are desperate enough, we turn to God.”  We should turn to Jesus first, not after we have exhausted our options.

Next, we should spend our time caring about others.  Are you able to see a need that you can help someone with?  When someone tells you about their troubles or shares with you a praise report, what is the first thing you do?  Do you say you keep them in your prayers or do you stop right then and pray for them?  When we follow God’s design we should stop and pray for them right then.

The last letter stands for yourself. We live in a society right now that puts all of its value on ME, ME, ME. We are told you need to take care of “numero uno.” True joy comes from loving others, from concentrating on their needs and from doing for others.  We, ourselves, should be last, not first.  When we are teaching our children, we should encourage them in those three simple letters – JOY.  When we use JOY as Jesus, Others and Yourself, in that order, you will find JOY.

In John 15:11-13 Jesus says, “I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your JOY may be complete.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.”

This Christmas season, remember Jesus is the reason for the season.  Our JOY begins with Him. Next find someone to bless that isn’t expecting it.  Ask your children to find a special person to bless.  Be sure you know why they choose their special person. We started doing this yearly while our girls were in grade school.  One year they picked Mannie, the maintenance person at their school.  When we talked to the girls they both said the same thing, they choose him because he always had a smile on his face when the kids arrived at school. He never said he would “get to something” a teacher asked for. He would say he would be right back with his tools – and he came right back with his tools.  The girls wrote him a letter telling why they were blessing him.  Years later my husband was substitute teaching in the school and Mannie recognized him and asked him to come to his office.  There was the framed letter on his wall.   It blessed us to know how much this special gesture of caring meant to him.

Use JOY in your life.  Have a relationship with Jesus first, then care for others before yourself – that will bring JOY to your life.


Julie Jaunese has been married to her husband Michael for 41 years. She has two daughters and three grandchildren. She works at Moffitt Cancer Center and hosts two women’s small groups, the Yada Book Club and the Fabulous Fems. Mike and Julie have been part of Grace Family Church since it began with 40 people in a house. 

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