Monday, January 17, 2011

Happiness-Psalm 17:15

Hey everyone,
I read an interesting article yesterday while flying on Southwest airlines and I would like to share with you my 2 cents.  The article was on happiness and it was interesting because it never indicated, in my opinion, what "Happiness Is" other than a positive attitude or something that you create!  Well in my opinion there is so much more to happiness than it just being about you.  In 2009 alone, more than 650 books with the word "happiness" in their titles or subtitles were published.  People were interviewed from all walks of life and here are some of their happy stats:  managers who praise their employees just one more time each day can raise productivity; people who just thought about watching their favorite movie raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent; almost 40 percent of people surveyed said that catching up with their loved ones after work was the happiest time of their day; unhappy employees stay home an average of 1.25 more days per month than happy employees; and those of us surrounded by family and friends are 50 percent less likely to die at an early  age than those of us with no social life.  Adam says happiness is growing his own carrots, Justin says his laptop provides him happiness, Ana says playing and watching soccer provides her happiness, Emma's bulldog, Gary's martini, and the list goes on and on.  The article goes on to say that people can be happy in a variety of ways---among them, by experiencing pleasure; being highly involved---engaged---in what one does at work or at play; having close and supportive relationships with family members, friends, and colleagues; and having a sense of purpose in life.  All these are good but are they not short lived?  What happens when Emma's dog dies or Ana doesn't like soccer anymore?  Greg Laurie says these things about happiness:  Happiness is so important to us as Americans that it is actually in our Declaration of Independence.  As you know, it states that among other things, we as Americans are "endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  The Bible talks about happiness, but it defines it in an altogether different way than our culture does.  When we read the Word "happiness" in the Bible, it is speaking of something that is not self-contained.  In other words, you can experience happiness regardless of your circumstances.  The happiness the Bible advocates does not come from what you have.  It isn't dependent on whether things are going well.  It comes from who you know.  And the "who" I am referring to is the Lord himself.  A really happy person is hungry for the things of God.  You go and you have a good meal of Bible study and worship.  You dig in and are satisfied.  But you are hungry afterward and want to do it again.  That is a good sign, you see.  That is a sign of a happy person---a person who is walking with God.  We should be growing in faith.  We should be growing spiritually.  Blessed---or happy---are those who continually hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Are you satisfied with your Spiritual state right now?
Your brother in Christ,

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