So many people are quick to squelch the things that bring other people joy. Granted, narcissists seem to have cornered the market on this behavior, but other people do it as well, & often without even realizing how discouraging their behavior is to others.
Here is one example of joy thief behavior I can give from my life. Years ago, I shared a picture of some shoes I really liked on Facebook. I’m not a big fan of shoes like many women, but these were an exception since they were simply gorgeous & unique. As soon as I did, two of my aunts attacked me for my supposed poor taste. Immediately, the moment of joy I felt at seeing these lovely shoes was ruined. Thank God for good friends though, because a wonderful friend of mine came to my defense immediately, which made my aunts back off quickly.
Another way people do this is by showing holier than thou type behavior. When a person thinks something is an answer to prayer, others can be quick to point out it isn’t exactly what the person asked for or it’s something rather unique, so it probably isn’t really an answer to prayer. Or maybe you are like me & believe that there is nothing wrong with asking God for signs. When telling some folks I got a sign, some people have told me, “You know that’s not really from God, right?” or, “Nowhere in the Bible are there any examples to support He would send a sign like that.” Such comments are so discouraging & can make a person doubt they heard from God properly. They can even damage a person’s faith, in particular if they are new Christians.
While these events are hardly the most traumatic a person can experience in their life, they still shouldn’t happen. People deserve to experience their joy without the unnecessary shaming from other people. There is no good reason to rain on another person’s parade.
What harm could possibly come from someone enjoying something that you dislike? No harm could come to humanity because one person prefers autumn & another prefers summer, one person dislikes holidays while another listens to Christmas music in July or even one person prefers tea to coffee. Seriously, issues like this are silly & not worth arguing about.
Even when it comes to someone’s faith, many issues aren’t worth disagreeing over. Every Christian is at a different place in their walk with God. While you may be further along than another, you are still well behind yet another person. You don’t know everything, so why act like you do? If someone believes something that you disagree with, unless you can back up your belief with Scripture, let it go. Romans 14:12 & 13 in the Amplified Bible have this to say… “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way.”
Please consider your behavior & avoid being a joy thief. It will be good for your relationships as well as for your peace of mind. Being burdened with trying to change other people only makes both people in this situation miserable. Why behave that way? Enjoy your life instead & allow others in your life to enjoy theirs as well.