It Takes More Than God to be Happy
I wrote the title of this post and then felt the need to quickly clarify as I knew that statement would likely elicit some protests. But I had to write it because I’ve met so many women over the years who absolutely love God but are as definitively unhappy.
I am a firm believer in the benefits of happiness and the power of choice. For this reason, I couldn’t write the final week of this series -sharing the components of the happiness triangle and why a relationship with God is imperative- and not address this crucially important topic. I use the phrase crucially important because happiness is within everyone’s reach and too many choose not to grab hold of it.
Since beginning this site nearly three years ago, I’ve had thousands upon thousands of women tell me all one needs to be happy is God. And nearly as many have told me happiness isn’t important because all a person needs is joy. I have now been studying happiness -what causes it and what depletes it- long enough that I feel confident in disagreeing with both of these opinions.
The debate over happiness or joy we’ll chat about tomorrow. But for today, I want to share with you why I began this post by stating it takes more than God to be be happy. For one thing, God did not set it up that way. We all have choices. We’ve all been given free will. What we sew is what we will reap. Our choices are not predetermined and a person’s happiness is not predestined.
One of the most fascinating statistics found in the U.S. Census report released last year was their reporting on marriage and divorce. The majority of states with the highest instances of divorce are in the Bible Belt, an area known for their deep religious roots, social conservatism and their church attendance per capita.
The most recent census mirrored that of the last census results released in 1999. And although last year’s results surprised many people, it didn’t surprise me in the least. Just as it takes more than God to be happy, it takes more than God to have a happy marriage. It requires the right mindset; the right God-given mindset.
Happiness is a choice. Genuine happiness requires making a daily choice to love God, life and everything in between. God makes your burden lighter. He makes your challenges bearable and the tests of life understandable. Seeing the world through a prism of faith never ceases to make life worth living.
Gratitude naturally begets happiness. When you wake up in the morning, grateful for the day before and thanking God in advance for what will occur in the hours ahead, you are setting your day up for success. You are telling the world your day will be great. This doesn’t mean everything will be perfect and all will fall in line just as you’d like, but it does mean you’ve chosen to believe all things are working together for your good and before the day ends you will have plenty more reasons to give thanks.
Happiness compliments joy. Many believe joy negates happiness or deems it unnecessary. They argue joy is permanent and happiness is temporary. We’ll chat tomorrow about why this isn’t true. But for now, I’ll leave you with this. Happiness is only temporary if you choose it temporarily. And it is dependent on external circumstances only if you’ve chosen to allow that dependence.
Happiness is a choice. Your choice. So what will you choose?
Until tomorrow…make it great day!
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