Are you happy? Do you want to be?
What are you doing about it?
In 2010, I worked through The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and wrote about the experience for Women’s Day Magazine – Happiness Blog.
I loved it.
One rainy afternoon, while riding a city bus, Gretchen Rubin asked herself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” She answered, “I want to be happy”—yet she spent no time thinking about her happiness. ~Gretchen Rubin
Rather than waiting for people or circumstances to make her happy, Gretchen asked the question – can I make positive changes, improve my life, and become happier? She added one change each month for a year. The Happiness Project is an account of her experience. (Find out more about Rubin’s books here.)
I learned something important that year. (I think I knew it before, but I lived it out and learned this absolute truth.)
[Tweet “You will never be happy if you wait for someone or something to make you happy. “]
Your happiness is up to you.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
I’m not talking about happiness conquering depression. If you or someone you know suffers with depression (I’ve been there) please talk to your doctor and get counseling. Chemical depression is not overcome by willpower.
But the crankies, orneriness, whining, complaining . . . those are things you can conquer.
The funny thing is . . . as I’ve searched for more information on pursuing happiness most of the sites I’ve found are New Age, Dalai Lama, etc. Except for one I’ll tell you about later.
Why do Christians so often come with a cantankerous label?
[Tweet “Seriously . . . we should be the happiest people on the planet!”]
What does happiness mean to you?
Google says – Happiness, gladness or joy is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
I love the Message translation of Galatians 5:22–23, 25–26
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others (love), exuberance about life (joy), serenity (peace). We develop a willingness to stick with things (patience), a sense of compassion in the heart (kindness & goodness), and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people (faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control).
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Choose life. Make positive changes. Stop comparing.
Comparison is the thief of happiness.
It’s impossible if you are comparing yourself, your children, your job, your faith, your experiences, or your stuff to anyone else.
Happiness comes from being who God created you to be. Say it again . . . Happiness comes from being who God created you to be.
Start today –
- Repent of your cranky, ornery, whiney, complaining and comparing behaviors and attitudes.
- Ask God to grow spiritual fruit in your life – joy, peace, patience, etc.
- Talk about things that make you happy. Ask your family and friends to join you and hold you accountable. Be intentional about it.
- Keep a happiness journal. Record every little thing that makes you happy.
- Praise and thank God for the gift of happiness.
6. Make up your mind that for you . . . Happy Christian will not be an oxymoron in your vocabulary!
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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