Are You Missing the Benefits of Joy and Play?

by Debbie Wilson

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

This quote struck me, because in many ways, I lost my sense play last year. 2020 was one of the hardest years I can remember. I lost one of my closest friends to cancer; several of my friends lost loved ones in unexpected tragedies; we were isolated, experienced national chaos, a worldwide pandemic, and an election like none I’ve ever witnessed.

Under such circumstances, to talk about fun may sound frivolous and out of touch. But I have good reason to believe joy is exactly what we need.

Research shows that fun can trigger the release of endorphins which promote an overall sense of well-being. And happy people have better relationships. The Bible supports turning on the joy even—or especially—in challenging circumstances.

Joy Is Biblical!

From prison the Apostle Paul wrote: “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NLT).

King Solomon, the wisest of kings, wrote: “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22 NLT).

A Psalm addressing the injustice of the wicked getting away with their evil schemes includes this admonition. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4 NLT).

Considering these biblical admonitions, today is the perfect day to count our blessings—not our woes. God made us to celebrate and to enjoy Him. Paul said that rejoicing in the Lord is a safeguard for us (Philippians 3:1).

Oswald Chambers said, “I am ever playing in God’s Presence as well as praying in it.”

Considering this has helped me give myself permission to enjoy life’s daily blessings and carve time for activities I enjoy. I’ve been reminding myself throughout the day to “Rejoice in the Lord!” Just saying those words aloud helps me smile.

This year, I am working to put strong boundaries on my thought life and rejoice in the Lord always.

Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10 NLT

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big Godand Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, was released in February 2020.

Little Faith, Big God: Grace to Grow When Your Faith Feels Small by [Wilson, Debbie]

She and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at

Join the conversation: What role do joy and play have in your life? How do you incorporate them into your day? If you are good at this, I hope you will share a tip to help the rest of us incorporate more joy and play into our daily lives.


4 thoughts on “Are You Missing the Benefits of Joy and Play?

  1. Wonderful! I especially loved: Oswald Chambers said, “I am ever playing in God’s Presence as well as praying in it.”

    Thanks for the joyful reminder, Debbie.


  2. I am thankful God gives me many moments of joy. Moments where I can laugh at myself because of something silly I have done. These moments provide joy for others and for me. 🙂


  3. I just returned from a trip visiting our 4 year old granddaughter! Now, that trip was filled with fun! I choose to concentrate on her and put work aside. In the distant past, I would have tried to do everything. Now when opportunities come, I’m all in, concentrating on the highest priority. Thank you, Debbie, for affirming my choice!


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