The Secret of Happiness - Part III
"Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!"1
We have already pointed out that happiness is many things to many people. It means knowing and accepting ourselves for who we are; learning to live with circumstances we are not able to change; having a worthwhile and noble purpose for which to live; and having something of value to do.
"If you find a really happy man," states one author, "you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, or growing double dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a button that has rolled under the wardrobe, he will not be striving for it as a goal in itself, he will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life to the full twenty-four hours of the day."
The happy person also has healthy relationships with other people. The person who lives only for himself is immature and usually miserable. Even the ancient Greeks had a word for the self-centered person. It was idios from which we get our word, "idiot." It means belonging to one's self.
To love and be loved is without question one of mankind's greatest needs for happiness. Without love all else in life is meaningless. Once again, however, love comes from within. If we give love we will receive love. That is a law of life. Unfortunately, many people, especially in childhood, were hurt because of a lack of love and as adults are afraid to love for fear of being hurt again. With effective counseling and the will to overcome, this fear can usually be conquered.
A well-integrated self is also needed for happiness. If the self is whole and mature, happiness will follow.
The greatest man who ever lived, Jesus Christ, is our great example. He developed in every area of his life. He "increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man."2 That is, he matured mentally, physically, spiritually, socially, and emotionally. We need to do the same.
Finally, character and a clear conscience are critical for lasting happiness. To feel forgiven for all the wrongs one has done gives one a deep sense of freedom. Any wrongs, therefore, that we have done need to be put right and any impaired relationships resolved. Not only do we need our brother's forgiveness, but also God's. When we confess our sins and faults to him, he always forgives us. We then need to forgive ourselves.*
Remember, happiness is a process not an event. Diligently follow the process and happiness/contentment will be the rich reward.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have given me the principles in your Word for finding lasting peace, contentment, and happiness. Give me a love for your word so that I will know how to live and therein find the inner peace, contentment, and happiness you promise to all who put you first and follow your ways. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name. Amen."
* For further help read, "Forgiveness: The Power That Heals" at: http://tinyurl.com/forgive-to-heal.
1. Matthew 5:6 (AMP).
2. Luke 2:52.