Is joy possible on Blue Monday?

Director of Communications, Andy Waddams, talks about the joy to be found in January. 

I love Januarys, I enjoy the freshness of the cold, the crisp frost causing grass to crunch under foot, and of course I get to match layers and scarfs. However, I am aware that a large majority of people are not as on a cold, dark start to the year. It’s worth adding that I have been described as ‘unnecessarily positive’ before now. 

The third Monday of the year has become known as ‘Blue Monday’, one of the most popular days for booking a holiday as people seek a hope to hold on to in the shorter days. 

In response a few years ago our church declared the month of Joyuary! A brighter way to start the year perhaps, the point was to be more deliberate about what we furnish our month with, particularly around our media intake. If we see our month as an art gallery then we’re intentionally curating positive pieces of work for this exhibition at the beginning of the year.  

Being ready to give an account of hope that lives inside us, as St Peter encourages, can be especially difficult if we’ve succumbed to the cultural acceptance of sadness that starts the year. It’s not that all are supposed to be Tiggers bouncing around, that would a lot, but more that we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us take with our thinking, intentionally rejecting the unnecessarily negative and seeking out the positive.  

There is of course a difference between Christian joy and general folly, Nehemiah talks about the Joy of the Lord being his strength, an inner relationship with God which supplies a constant gladness and causes him to rejoice. This is a deep joy, regardless of circumstance which can sometimes seem to pass understanding. However, I might add that some Christian’s joy is so deep, deep down that we never see it, not even a half smile in the the eyes. 

God, by his wonderful grace is also interested in our circumstance too, using the things of our life as another way of bringing joy to us, maybe family or work. Isaiah 9:3 says, ‘the Lord enlarged the nation and increased their joy,’ this was truly a circumstantial blessing that bought great joy to the people.  

My prayer is that we all find a balance of a deep joy and allowing God to increase our joy too. 

Perhaps the tenuously named Joyuary will serve as a reminder for us not to just accept a Blue Monday and perhaps even cultivate some joy for yourself and those in your world. 

On our social media this week you will see 5 easy and practical ways you can curate Joy in your life. 

First published on: 15th January 2024
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