DON’T WORRY-BE HAPPY!
Those words from a popular song offer good advice, but they don’t say
much about how to get there, How does one “be happy”?
“Happiness” comes from “happenings.” In other words, it’s not something
that’s hinged on the inner life, but on external circumstances. And
since what happens outside of us is often beyond our control, happiness
remains an elusive goal.
But quite different than happiness is joy. Joy comes from what is inside
of us. Joy is a state of mind, and can continue despite the worst of
circumstances, no matter how far beyond our control. For the Christian,
that is especially good news because abiding joy is a by-product of
life in Christ. Following are a few hints for maintaining joy on the
inside, so life as a whole is truly happy.
*Value what you already possess. Get your desires under control and be
thankful for what you have. If you work at being satisfied then
happiness will come crashing through.
*Stop desiring more than you can realistically look forward to. Don’t
dream of “the perfect job” that you’re not gifted for. Don’t
continuously wish for the same abilities that so-and-so has, when you
have your own complete set of gifts. Be happy with the gifts and
abilities God has given you.
*Forgive. Bitterness in the heart toward someone is a slow death. Don’t
be resentful. Forgiveness involves facing the pain and hurt, even though
you’ve been unjustly wronged. By releasing the hate and anger, you give
yourself a new lease on life and greater capacity for joy.
*Get control of your life. Bust those procrastinating tendencies and
learn the joy of accomplishing tasks. Claim your right to make mistakes
and learn from them.
Once these steps become part of life, joy and happiness won’t be so
elusive. Go on and try them. Go on and be happy.
(The above material appeared in a February, 1991 issue of Church
Christian Information Network