The Disappearance of Happiness

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                         October 31, 2012

Someone once asked me “If being a Christians is such a good thing why do so many Christians look unhappy?”

Great question! Open mouth with no answer coming out.

In fact, I won’t simplify it by saying there is an answer. It is more like having a lot of fragments that gradually accumulate to give some kind of foggy image of an answer. Fragments include the economy, acne, obesity, gas prices, too much homework, realty TV, professional football, professional football ticket prices, texting, aging parents, marijuana dispensaries, air travel, baggage fees, rush hour traffic, and club volleyball…to name a few!

In essence, there are a lot of unhappy people because they seem to have more reasons to be unhappy than reasons to be happy.

A few days ago I was talking to a man who does some service work for me at our house. In the midst of our conversation he made the comment “I don’t know anyone who is happy. Everyone I know is anything but happy!”

I suggested he find some new people to hang around with.

His comment, however, stayed with me. That’s when I started thinking about happiness. Why are so few people happy? Is it connected to our personalities? Is it because life is lived at such a frantic, rushed pace? Do we think happy people are weird?

It is true that happiness is not one of the fruit of the Spirit. Joy is, but happiness…no. Joy seems to be a Spirit-developed element. Happiness, however, seems to come as a result of things happening around someone that affects their life.

Happiness is blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. Joy is knowing that the depth and specialness of the relationships the person has with those who brought the cake and are standing around in a circle singing.

Still…joy-filled people aren’t always happy; and happy people aren’t always joyous. In fact, someone can be happy about someone else having to face adversity.

There’s a song we sing in church and church camp entitled “Happiness is the Lord”. It begins with these words: “Happiness is to know the Savior; living a life within his favor, having a change in my behavior, happiness is the Lord.”

The “change in behavior” is the line I struggle with. It goes back to the question I referenced at the beginning that was asked of me. Why aren’t more followers of Jesus happy? And my last answer is “I don’t know!”

Explore posts in the same categories: Christianity, Jesus, Story, The Church, Uncategorized

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