(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
We enjoy lots of things in life. In fact, “things” is a key word for understanding this distinction. When things are involved, you can be pretty sure it is about enjoyment. You can enjoy your surroundings, your activities, relationships, or possessions, even your ideas. These are all things you experience with your five senses.
Joy comes from a deeper sense. It is a feeling which may also be described as bliss, euphoria, rapture, or ecstasy. This powerful feeling of joy may accompany any of the things — surroundings, activities, etc. — which you also “enjoy.” But it may not.
By the way, the point of this distinction is simply to give you a reference point to measure your level of joy. Even “enjoy” is on the scale of “joy.” Joy is a continuum, from slight to powerful, it is not a set of separate states.
How often do you get to be “in joy”?
Copyright 2002 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.