Don’t Leech my Joy, bro

I am convinced that if I should ever acquire my dream job, which would be coffee and chocolate taster for the Aloha Sugar-Caf Buzz Company in Maui, I would find myself surrounded by people who will inform me, hourly if necessary, of how much this job stinks.

You know ’em. I know ’em.

Joy Leeches.

Of course, none of us fit that category. We would never stoop to sucking the good out of “have a good day.” When we complain or grip, there are solid reasons behind it. For your convenience, I made a handy list of acceptable reasons to grip, complain, or grumble:

1. Bad drivers, meaning those who drive faster or slower than we do.
2. Dirty dishes, because someone else should have done them.
3. No internet.
4. Snow.
5. No snow.
6. Hot days.
7. Cold days.
8. Wives and children who leave the lights on.
9. Running out of milk.
10. The guy blocking the entire baking aisle because he can’t figure out the difference between semi-sweet and unsweetened chocolate (seriously, there should be a special prison).

There. I think that’s a rather exhaustive list. Feel free to magnet it to your fridge.

I suspect that someone reading this has used at least one of those ten reasons to complain today. If not, feel free to add your favorite to my list. Because here’s the ugly truth: most of us leech the joy from our own lives and probably take a few unsuspecting victims with us.

Take a little test. Think back to a time when you complained and something positive came out of it. I’ll give you a minute. No, waiters and doctors don’t count, you pay them to accept your complaint graciously.

Need more time? Too bad. Take it up with my complaint department. The fact is, negative words or thoughts do not lead to positive ones. The moment they escape your lips, they turn on you and sap the joy from your heart. And there’s plenty of the little critters to share with the rest of the class.

Now here’s a real challenge. For the next week, capture every complaint, grumble, or general grousification before it escapes your mouth. No matter how justified, no matter how many times that guy picks up and puts back down the semi-sweet morsels, just hold it in.

I suggest that, after you do this for a few days, the grumblings won’t even begin to form in your brain. Grumblings don’t want to expend the energy if they can’t find an audience.

Let me know how it goes. Oh, and read Phillipians. All of it. No complaining.

Until next time and with a joyous heart,



I am a husband, dad, Christian, and writer. Not necessarily in that order. It took me thirty years to turn my life over to my Redeemer. It's taken another ten to figure out what it is He has in store for me. My first novel, Now I Knew You, will be released in March, 2015. I pray that God will allow me to write many more before calling me home.

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