When you’re tempted to be upset, ask yourself, “Is this worth giving up my JOY?” ~Joel Osteen
I loathe this passionately. Almost anything Joel Osteen says winds me up. Translation: “When you are actually angry or sad or frightened, suppress that emotion and pretend to yourself that you feel joy”.
This is very different from saying that where you cannot change a situation, it is beneficial to accept it and not let resentment eat at you. Indeed. But when I feel an emotion that is useful information, and I will not suppress my emotion. And also, when angry at one part of what I see, thinking about what delights me in my experience helps me.
Incidentally, “upset” is not an emotion. Being upset or wound up is a measure of the strength of the feeling, not whether it is anger fear or sadness or perhaps disgust. It is also a symptom of being disturbed by the feeling, trying to resist it. That is why the wording “tempted to be upset” is so poisonous: it tempts us to deny our feelings, so we have no sense of what is good or bad for us.
I suppose Osteen’s point of view could have benefits if we get upset about the state of the world- the wars and rumours of wars, the inequality, the roiling sea of anger- I would say, Trust in God. All manner of thing shall be Well, and Osteen might agree. But even there, I want to acknowledge my feeling, so that I may let it go; not suppress it, so that it eats away at my Joy and everything else. If I acknowledge my feelings of helpless horror, they can coexist with my Joy; and then fade away.