Happy Christian Should Not be an Oxymoron

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Are you happy Do you want to be Here are 5 tips to help you become a happy christian. You will be blessed and be a blessing.

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. 

Are you happy Do you want to be Here are 5 tips to help you become a happy christian. You will be blessed and be a blessing.

Start today –

  1. Repent of your cranky, ornery, whiney, complaining and comparing behaviors and attitudes.
  2. Ask God to grow spiritual fruit in your life – joy, peace, patience, etc.
  3. Talk about things that make you happy. Ask your family and friends to join you and hold you accountable. Be intentional about it.
  4. Keep a happiness journal. Record every little thing that makes you happy.
  5. 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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12 thoughts on “Happy Christian Should Not be an Oxymoron

  1. It seems like the word “happy” gets a bad label when it comes to Christianity, sometimes. Feels like “joyful” is a more acceptable term than “happy” is. I get the sentiment behind that, but also appreciate not being encumbered by legalism and can just let “happiness” be acceptable too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Deb. Have a great weekend.

  2. Well, bless my soul, Deb! Actually, you did! You blessed my soul! First, I read about happiness (I LOVE Gretchin Rubin’s “Happier at Home” and listened to it on CD book twice in a row!). Then I scroll down and see something that looks strangely familiar. What fun! Thank you SO much for encouraging me so greatly today. In counting my blessings, I surely want to add you and this lovely site and this lovely party to the list. Also, my new blogging friend Mary Flaherty, whom I think I met through you? Through her guest post? Through another link party? Anyway, so many new blessings just since last week. Thank you, thank you!

  3. …oops. Sorry. GretchEn. But this gives me a chance to add that I appreciate your distinction between grumpiness, et al., and actual depression. Thank you for that!

  4. First off, I am able to see your site and participate! Yeah! 🙂 Second, I think somewhere a lot of Christians decided that God doesn’t care about our happiness. Sure, He’ll meet our needs but we don’t have any right to expect happiness. It’s just not true! I was blown away when I found out Jesus’ words we call the “beattitudes” start out more accurately as “happy or fortunate are those” instead of “blessed.” He is concerned with our happiness and He shows us how to live by the Spirit and live happy. So good! Thanks Deb. 🙂

  5. It really is so sad that happiness is rarely ever applied to Christians. We have so much hope and know the love of God! We should be the happiest people there are! Yet, I often fall into the trap of complaining or feeling grumpy over little things that don’t really matter. Thanks for the reminder that we need to work at remembering our many blessings and that we have lots of reasons to be happy : )

  6. I have been contemplating this very question lately. I’ve always heard that Christians can be joyful but God cares more about our Godliness than our happiness. While I believe that is true..I’m learning that we can still be happy. Life will not always be happy and that’s ok; I can be joyful in those moments. BUT I want to choose to be happy.
    Afterall there is a lot to be happy about! The song “Don’t worry be happy’ comes to mind.

  7. What a wonderful post! I love that you have given practical steps to make changes. As always, it is good to join you!

  8. Deb, Years ago, early in my Christian walk, a friend of mine gave me a book called, The Christians Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whithall Smith. The book was so instrumental to my faith, especially as a new believer. In fact, you have reminded me that it is a book I should really read once a year. It is indeed that kind of book.

    I LOVE the idea of a Happiness Journal!

    Thanks so much for sharing your insights!

  9. Deb,

    Thank you SO much for including me in your post today! I always look to you for encouragement and I am truly humbled to be your favorite happiness site. I just want to hug you!! Michelle

  10. I love your point that Christians should be the happiest people on the planet. It’s so true, yet so often we let the most minor of inconveniences threaten our happiness. Thank you for sharing with such inspiration, and for linking with us at Grace & Truth!

  11. At my bridal shower, a great aunt gave me a card that said, “You may not always feel happy in life, but you can always choose to be cheerful.” This dear lady had lost her first husband to suicide and had a daughter who was born extremely prematurely at a time when preemies rarely survived. If she could choose to be cheerful, truly anyone can. I’ve kept that bit of wisdom tucked away with me since I received it. The Lord will enable us to choose joy and happiness in Him even when we can find none in the world!

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