By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-11)
When we think of Christmas, we often think of joy. After all, some of the most popular Christmas songs mention joy, such as “Joy to the World” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” However, as the Christmas season is only temporary, it is important to know the difference between joy and happiness.
Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes, as it is based on our changing circumstances. When life is going our way, it’s easy to feel happy, but when situations don’t go as planned, we often find ourselves unhappy, discouraged or even angry.
Joy, on the other hand, is a choice. When we choose joy, we can have a joyful heart in even the most challenging of circumstances. In addition, when we find our joy in Christ, He will provide us with the strength we need to live joyfully.
So how can we embrace the spirit of joy this Christmas?
While material things can bring happiness, they cannot bring us joy. So, while exchanging gifts is a great way to show love, it’s important to remember that gifts alone cannot bring us true joy. So, rather than focusing on the gifts underneath the tree, cherish the time spent with your loved ones.
In addition, Christmas is a great time to give back to the community and help those in need. When we serve others and show them love, we reflect Christ. Acts 20:35 says, “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Ultimately, serving others can bring us joy.
This holiday season, I encourage you to embrace the spirit of joy. Remember that by keeping Christ at the center of all of your celebrations, you can experience true joy and understand the reason for the season.
Throughout its history, Grand Canyon University has remained a vibrant Christian university that is committed to distinctively Christian beliefs, values and practices. To learn more about GCU’s Christian identity and heritage, visit our website or use the Request More Information button at the top of this page.