Happiness is… the distinctive mark of a Christian. Some people would dispute this statement. Christianity is popularly seen as sober, rigid, puritanical, outdated and lacking any sense of fun.
Real happiness begins where selfishness ends. It is common knowledge that a self-centred person is unhappy, fretful, and fault-finding. Christianity creates within its followers a desire to reach out to others. It takes away the prominence of self. It highlights the wellbeing of others. There is a childish little chorus that goes like this, J is Jesus, O is for others and Y is for yourself, put together the letters spell JOY. This is a great deal of truth in these lyrics. Unselfishness and happiness are twins.
Happiness is…not in things alone. Society today is crumbling because of greed. The need to own more, be richer and a higher standard of living is making us work harder. It is like being on a treadmill. Going around and around and never reaching our goal. To be continually discontent with what we have and are is self-centeredness at its best. There is a multiplication table for happiness, ‘Happiness multiplies and we divide and share with others.’
Happiness is… having a purpose that is bigger than us. When the main purpose in life is to satisfy our every whim what have we got? Being a Christian produces a purpose and gives direction. Instead of living in the world according to me, I live in the world according to Jesus and his Father. Happiness is… in step with God. The Bible quotes on obtaining happiness, ‘Happy is the person who reveres God, but the person who doesn’t care is headed for serious trouble.’ Another similar quote, ‘Happy is the person who puts his trust in God.’
Happiness is… being one with Jesus. Jesus unselfishly gave himself to buy us a life beyond our wildest imagination. (Ephesian 3: 20 NIV)