Life { Faith } Tea

and ramblings on everything in between

Happiness

I recently stumbled upon the article 4 Life Lessons that Lead to Happiness, Success, and Longevity published by Time Magazine. The 4 life lessons weren’t my great take away from the article, but the list of 8 things happy people have in common piqued my interest. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor at the University of California, compounded years of scientific research to break the happiness code, which she details in her book The How of Happiness.

After reading through the list, I quickly realized that all 8 items align with Biblical truths and teachings. Coincidence? I’m going to check no in that box. God loves us and wants us to have happy and fulfilling lives – so much so that He’s given us a blueprint as a guide.

Happy #1: Happy people devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships.
Bible #1: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” { Mark 12:31 }

God puts us on the earth to do life with others. To work together as one. To support each other and encourage each other and foster each other’s strengths. In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Moving over to Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Friends, family, co-workers, and support systems are vital to our emotional and spiritual health. God wired us for companionship, so it’s no wonder happy people are thriving due to rich and meaningful relationships.

Happy #2: They are comfortable expressing gratitude for all they have.
Bible #2: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” { 1 Thessalonians 5:18 }

When you live a life of gratitude and thanks, you tend to find so many things to be grateful and thankful for. When it’s on your mind and your heart, you’re more aware of how much you have. Likewise, when you live a life of negativity, you tend to only focus on the negative and frustrating things in your life.

Happy people still have bad and disheartening and crappy things happen to them, they just don’t let those things control their lives. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” { Psalm 136:1 } We can start by acknowledging all that we have that we don’t even deserve. When we’re humbled, we’re typically more grateful.

Happy #3: They are often the first to offer helping hands to coworkers and passersby.
Bible #3: “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.” { 1 Timothy 6:18 }

Another verse for you: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” { James 1:27 }

God calls us to look out for one another. Just like we should love our neighbor, friend, co-worker, mother, and enemy as much as we love ourselves, we should should share our blessings with those who need it. Maybe it’s time, encouragement, money, or prayer – any blessing can be a blessing to someone else. When we’re living for God, we’re living for all of His children.

Happy #4: They practice optimism when imagining their futures.
Bible #4: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” { Romans 8:28 }

Through God’s promise that all things will work for our God, we have no choice but to be optimistic about life, our future, and this world. Even in the middle of suffering we can be optimistic because “we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” { Romans 5:3-4 } We have hope of eternal life with him, and nothing makes me more optimistic than that!

Happy #5: They savor life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment.
Bible #5: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” { Matthew 6:34 }

“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their work – this is the gift of God.” { Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 }

We’re only given so many days here on earth – and some days it feels like we’re already living on borrowed time – so be in the moment, actively living your life. God wants us to focus on today and to make the most of what we have.

Happy #6: They make physical exercise a weekly and even daily habit.
Bible #6: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” { 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 }

Everything can be interpreted a million different ways so you might not agree with me on this one, but I think taking care of the temple God gave you, i.e. your body, includes physical activity. No one can deny that research proves that people who exercise and eat right have a greater chance of living a healthy life. Don’t you think God wants us to be in the healthy category? I sure do. Taking care of your body and treating it like a temple also means other things, too – staying sexually pure, doing no harm, taking care of ourselves when we’re sick.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon points out that “Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.” { Ecclesiastes 10:18 }. When we are active and moving, we’re getting stuff done, we have the stamina to go about our day, we’re in a better state physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Happy #7: They are deeply committed to lifelong goals and ambitions. 
Bible #7: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” { 1 Corinthians 15:58 }

Life isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. Jesus knows that it takes diligence and commitment to walk with Him every day. We must wake up and make the decision over and over and over again. In Proverbs, He promises that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.” { Proverbs 21:5 } Figure out what you want in this life and get after it. Again. And again. And again.

Happy #8: They display poise and strength when coping with challenges.
Bible #8: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” { Joshua 1:9 }

God knows the road we follow can be long and burdensome at times. He even points out that “in the world, you will have tribulation.” But it doesn’t stop there. We can have hope in Him because he has overcome the world { John 16:33 }. We never walk alone, and we can take great comfort in the fact that even at our worst, even at our weakest, He is there propping us up, helping us cope, giving us strength.

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” { Philippians 4:13 }

***

After looking over this list, I’m optimistic about the fact that these are all do-able things. Each and every one of us has the capability to live these things out in our own lives. We might have to dig deep for a few of them, but it is not out of our reach. Let’s all take one step towards being happier today!

I feel I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t end this little ramble with Pharrell’s “Happy.” You’re welcome.

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This entry was posted on August 8, 2014 by in Bible, Faith, God, Hope, Jesus, Life Lessons and tagged , , .

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