The Difference Between Joy and Happiness
𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐃𝐈𝐅𝐅𝐄𝐑𝐄𝐍𝐂𝐄 𝐁𝐄𝐓𝐖𝐄𝐄𝐍 𝐉𝐎𝐘 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐇𝐀𝐏𝐏𝐈𝐍𝐄𝐒𝐒
Which one should we pursue?
What is joy? What is happiness? And what is the difference between joy and happiness?
The difference between joy and happiness lives in the mind and heart.
• Joy is in the heart. Happiness is on the face.
• Joy is of the soul. Happiness is of the moment.
• Joy transcends. Happiness reacts.
• Joy embraces peace and contentment, waiting to be discovered.
• Joy runs deep and overflows, while happiness is intermittent and fleeting.
• Joy is a practice and a behavior. It’s deliberate and intentional.
• Happiness comes and goes blithely along its way.
• Joy is profound and Scriptural. "Don't worry, rejoice."
• Happiness is a balm. "Don't worry, be happy."
• Joy is an inner feeling. Happiness is an outward expression.
• Joy endures hardship and trials and connects with meaning and purpose.
• A person pursues happiness but chooses joy.
Choose joy. Practice joy. Know joy. Live joy. Feel happiness.
For every person who says joy is an underlying truth that good or bad circumstances can’t dictate, and that happiness is rooted in circumstance, there will be others who think the opposite, that joy is just a state of mind, the outcome of a mind seeking happiness and focused on pleasure, pleasing thoughts and pleasant experiences.
Despite the different perspectives, the idea that holds greater sway today is that experiencing happiness depends on external factors. Happiness happens to us. Even though we may seek it, desire it, pursue it, etc., feeling happiness is not a choice we make. Joy, on the other hand, is a choice purposefully made.
Happiness doesn’t bring joy, and joy isn’t the byproduct of happiness. Joy is something grander than happiness. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and when we find joy it’s infused with comfort and wrapped in peace. It’s an attitude of the heart and spirit.
It’s possible to experience joy in difficult times. It’s possible to know joy or feel joy in spite of grief or uncertainty. Joy doesn’t need a smile in order to exist.
Although joy does feels better with a happy smile, joy can share space with other emotions — sadness, fear, anger ... even unhappiness. Happiness can’t.
Happiness isn’t present in darkness and difficulty. It can’t be present when its antithesis rules. But once discovered, joy undergirds our spirits and brings to life peace and contentment, even in the face of unhappiness.
Joy blooms through connection. It’s what God wants for us. Often the connection is with other people, but it can also be with pets, creation, creativity, etc.
Joy is present, in the moment. Every moment. Happiness is ephemeral and temporary. It’s mostly just passing through.
When happiness is present, it’s larger than life. It feels good, and nothing feels better or seems worthy of attention. But happiness is also fickle. It can be present for weeks on end and gone in an instant. True joy is constant.
The true definition of joy goes beyond the limited explanation presented in a dictionary — “a feeling a great pleasure and happiness.” True joy is a limitless, life-defining, transformative reservoir waiting to be tapped into. It requires the utmost surrender and, like love, is a choice to be made. Joy is not simply a feeling that happens.
Joy is also not great happiness or even extreme happiness. It is not elation, jubilation or exhilaration — emotions that may be present with joy, that may seem like an expression of joy, but which don’t define joy. In its truest expression, joy transforms difficult times into blessings and turns heartache into gratitude. Joy brings meaning to life. It brings life to life.
𝐈𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐣𝐨𝐲, 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞. 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐣𝐨𝐲, 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲. 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐣𝐨𝐲, 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐦 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞.
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” — Psalm 30:11
Source: Compassion International
More edifying content in the comments below.
Where does your 𝐉𝐎𝐘 come from? Does your 𝐉𝐎𝐘 come from something that can be taken away?
My 𝐉𝐎𝐘 comes from the 𝐋𝐨𝐫𝐝 and no man can pluck me from His hand.
Joy does not come from my job. Not my family. Not food. Not another person. Not my husband. Not my children. Not a car. Not my home. Not the government. Not the president. Not health. The list goes on.
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. But the more I realize it to be true, the better I am at my job, for my family, for my husband, etc.
It's a DAILY work in progress and I see it to be true the older I get. (Philippians 1:6)