You want to be happy. I want to be happy. Everyone wants to be happy, I mean, who wouldn’t want to be happy? The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America talks about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as being unalienable rights of humanity. What can we conclude from all of this? Happiness is a central objective and desire that belongs to all. Having said that...why aren’t we happy? Why are so many of us frustrated, disappointed and anxious about our lives? Why do we overeat, binge, eat chocolate, shop or do any number of other things to hide from our lack of happiness? Why can’t we just be happy? Why can’t we stop comparing, stop wishing, stop regretting, stop rationalizing and just start living today for the glory of it being our present? There is hope because happiness is attainable! We just need to know where and how to look for it and how to recognize it when we see it.
The first thing we need to figure out about our pursuit of happiness is what kind of happiness we are truly looking for? Do we want the kind that you get when you open a gift or have a day off or you get a bonus check? That kind of happy is around and has the possibility of being attained periodically according to circumstances. The issue is, that kind of happy comes with circumstances and then it goes with circumstances, so it is enjoyable but not enduring. The other kind of happy is a different story, for when it comes, it tends to stay and positively affect your everyday life. Though much more desirable, this kind of happy is more elusive, for it needs to be found in spite of our circumstances and is therefore often hidden from our everyday observations. So, how do we find it?
We find it by not looking for it. We find it by realizing that it comes to us by way of our desire, determination and ability to be content. Great! I want to be happy but I shouldn’t try and find happiness because it will find me if I am content. So what does it mean to be content? Does it mean that I should stop striving to better myself or my circumstances or my habits? Does being content mean I should give up on the future and just accept whatever the present is? I’m confused and being confused doesn’t make me happy or content!
Okay, let’s regroup. The problem here is that most of us view happiness and contentment as things you put on and not as things that grow from the inside out. The Bible defines contentment in a very unique way, and once we begin to understand contentment through this biblical lens the whole equation changes. We begin to see how to think, what to do and why, so we can achieve a life of contentment and therefore invite happiness in as a permanent life fixture. Check out our May 1st, 2017 podcast, “Why Can’t I Just Be Happy?” and learn what the secret of contentment is. Take some solid steps towards making your life a truly happy one!
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