Don't put happiness on hold

Happiness is dangled before us in many subtle and sometimes blatant ways during the course of our everyday lives. It’s often presented as something that awaits us, and often involves acquiring one product or another to complete the prospect. Very rarely is the case made that we already have it.

So it’s not unusual that we may find ourselves thinking of happiness in these terms—as something we would love to attain, but is just out of our grasp. It will come perhaps with the right friendship, with marriage, with children, or with the perfect job. It may be ours when our bodies shape up, or when a nagging complaint fades away. If we could find a better apartment, pay all our bills, improve a grade point average, or leave home—then we would be happy.

Nevertheless, the case has already been made, and convincingly, by Christ Jesus’ teachings, that we are in fact inherently happy. In the summary of his teaching called the Sermon on the Mount, God’s children are described as fully happy. In the familiar King James Version of the Bible, the beatitudes begin with “Blessed are . . .” (see Matthew 5:3–12). In several other translations, the word blessed is replaced with “happy.” And the Amplified Bible follows the word blessed with this amplification: “happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions” (verse 5). In the Master’s statement that concludes the chapter, he declares, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). 

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A spiritual lesson in traffic court
April 23, 2012

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