How To Be Happy

America is obsessed with happiness.  In the past decade there have been a rash of books on the topic.  According to  Amazon there are 27,548 books for sale relating to happiness.  Among them are  “The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People.” “The 18 Rules of Happiness.”  “9 Habits of Maximum Happiness.”  Mary Lou Retton’s book “Gateway to Happiness” where she boils it down to 7 ways to a more peaceful and profitable life.  Let me save you some time. How to be happy?  I can sum it up in two words.

Choose Happiness!

The late Groucho Marx said it well, “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

Advertisers tell us that happiness can be enjoyed if we use the right toothpaste. Wear stylish clothes. Drive a fancy car.  Or vacation in luxury resorts.  Several years ago the Winnebago Mental Health Institute at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, published a report in which the director, Dr. Darold Treffert, blamed the increase in problems among young people on what he called the great “American Fairy Tale.”  One of its themes is “More possessions mean more happiness.”  Yet, Jesus said, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Lk. 12:15).

Others think happiness is found in a better circumstances, a new house or a different spouse.  Robert J. Hastings was right when he wrote, “Places and circumstances never guarantee happiness.  You must decide within yourself whether you want to be happy.  And once you’ve decided that, happiness comes much easier.” Paul said that he had enjoyed abundance, suffered need, was up and down, but in all of this he had learned in whatever circumstance he was in to be content (Phil 4:11-12).

Happiness is a by-product and not the goal.  When we are seeking personal growth, sowing seeds that benefit others, and serving God with all of our heart, soul and mind, we will find inner joy, peace of mind and contentment of spirit. Someone compared happiness to chasing a butterfly.  The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder.

Jerry L. Walls wrote, “In our age, as in every age, people are longing for happiness, not realizing that what they are looking for is holiness.” Seeking holiness is a difficult for most people to do, because our secular society believes that it’s all about being happy.  Too often worldly pleasures are seen as the gateway to enjoying the good life and finding happiness.  Jumping from bed to bed and bar to bar is not the way to happiness. In fact, such a lifestyle will ultimately leave one feeling empty, unfulfilled, and unhappy.   Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matt 5:8).  When we experience God’s blessedness, we feel happy.

The real key to happiness is summarized in the two great commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’   This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37-39).  These speak to the three basic needs of all human being: (1) Self worth; (2) intimacy with others; (3) and a close relationship  with God.

Abraham Lincoln who endured much heartache, disappointment and defeat in his life once said, “Most people are about as happy as they choose to be.” So, today, regardless of your situation. Your circumstances.  Or your personal possessions. Choose to be happy!

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

5 Comments

Filed under Happiness

5 responses to “How To Be Happy

  1. Janice Cielo

    Thank you for this today, I needed it.

  2. Betty J Rhodes

    Ken, In our reports from South Africa from Les and Linda Maydell, the pictures always show happy people who have literally nothing by American standards. They do not even have enough to eat many days. It is the same from our reports of Dominica with Elkin and Yvonne Vigilante. I remember seeing a little shack with the roof made of a little tin being held on by a tire setting on the top of it. These Christian people are always smiling. What these people do have is a love and appreciation for God. When we have salvation, we have it all. Thanks for your continuing words of wisdom. Hope you and Norma have a great week.

  3. Erma Lambert

    You are so RIGHT! Bro. Weliever, happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy. Although it took me awhile to get to this point in my life. No one can make us happy nor should we expect it. I think about all the blessings that I have received from God and that out weights any troubles or problems that I have faced in my life. In all honesty, some were troubles and problems I caused myself, but Gods grace and mercy kept me, and from that my joy and happiness comes.

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