Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Surprising Ways to Find Happiness

There's something I know about you.  You want to be happy.  More than that, you are pursuing happiness.  That's the way God created us.  And ultimately, the deepest and most abiding happiness is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.  But if you already have that as your foundation, what else can you do to make your life more fulfilling and enjoyable?  Here are five surprising sources of happiness:

One, get in shape.  48% of people in excellent health are very happy, compared to only 32% of people in good health, 22% in fair health, and 15% in poor health.  That’s huge!  We tend to think that we will be happier if we eat whatever we want and avoid physical exertion.  Wrong!  If you want to be happy, get healthy.

Two, educate yourself.  42% of college grads are very happy compared to 30% of those who have only a high school diploma or less.  I guess the old saying, "What you don't know can't hurt you" isn't true.  Ignorance is deadly!  The good news is that you don't need to go to college to grow in knowledge.  All you need is to know how to read.  When's the last time you picked up a book?  (Check out my Reading Lists HERE.)

Three, vote Republican.  45% of Republicans are very happy compared to 30% of Democrats; 40% of conservatives are very happy compared to 27% of liberals.  Let me give you one reason why I think this is the case.  Democrats tend to blame all their problems on the government, and at the same time they tend to look to the government to solve all their problems.  Republicans are the opposite.  They want the government to leave them alone and let them solve their own problems.  They would rather have freedom than the pseudo-security offered by Big Brother.  This attitude of responsibility and self-reliance leads to a happier life.

Four, go to church.  43% of those who attend weekly are very happy, compared to 31% who attend monthly or less, and 26% of those who never attend.  This should be common sense, but it's not.  Church attendance helps you stay closer to God, the most powerful source of happiness.  It helps you to avoid sin, which leads to unhappiness.  It connects you with good, happy people.  And it gives you a sense of purpose and significance as you work with others to reach the world for Christ.  All of this makes you happier.

Five, get married.  43% of married people are very happy compared to 24% of singles.  Marriage can increase happiness – dramatically.  That may come as a surprise because there’s a powerful and popular urban myth in our society that "marriage will make you miserable."  But that’s simply not true.  God created marriage to be a blessing.  That’s why the Bible says Proverbs 18:22 (CSB), "A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”  If you aren't happily married, then you aren't doing it right!  (Check out my BLOG POSTS and SERMONS for help with building the marriage of your dreams.)

(Source:  Pew Research, 2010.)

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