Dr Henry Cloud recently shared an interesting statistic.”Circumstances contribute to only 10% of our happiness. It’s quite staggering to think that many people go through life living as though their circumstances have defined them. If only they had more money, a better car, a nicer home, less stress at work then everything would be better. I love it when science backs up what the Bible has already told us!
Happiness is a choice.
It is something you can learn. Paul says that he has learned the secret of contentment and goes on to spell out that it isn’t dependent on his circumstances.
Philippians 4:12 (NIV)
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Happiness Can Be Learned.
Happiness is a lot to do with attitude and you can adjust your attitude. You can choose to “Do all things without grumbling or questioning”, in fact, we are told to do that in Philippians 2:14 ESV. I’ve found it easier to get rid of a bad habit when I replace it with something else. Instead of complaining why not try being thankful? Once you learn to appreciate the things you have your happiness level will rise.
Colossians 3:17 (ESV)
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
I want to hit home here that it isn’t just being thankful for the sake of it. It’s important that our thankfulness flows in the right direction. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to thank people but it is most important to thank God. Recognise the opportunities He has given you. Be grateful for the life you have been given to lead.
Happiness impacts your health.
When you allow thankfulness to creep into your attitudes, your words and your actions you’ll find there are health benefits.
Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.