Western civilization has divided mankind into two categories, happy and not happy (including sad, angry, bitter, etc.). When forced to choose between happy and not happy we can find ourselves not happy more often than happy. According to dictionary.com, Happy –by definition–means to be be delighted or glad, characterized by pleasure and so on. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that eventually disappears when it exists without purpose and as Christians we understand our purpose to be serving Christ.
I remember when I was first married to Heather… we had our honeymoon and our first few months of living together, total bliss. Then we both realized that there are the little annoyances of life that come into play when you live together and fight to be one flesh. Be sure you really invest in your pre-marriage counseling and listen, because your pastor will be able to warn you about personality conflicts and pitfalls ahead of time that you can prepare for ahead of time. Up at the altar of marriage, during the honeymoon and our first few months together we relied heavily on our emotion of happiness and it was easy to do so. We were so happy and overcome with emotion, it was like an extra long episode of Leave It To Beaver. However, the happiness eventually ran out of steam and we realized we had work to do and relationship to build.
When the honeymoon phase is over, the hard work of cultivating deeper relationship and building relational markers that will last a lifetime begins. This illustration of marriage is very similar to our relationship with Christ. When we are married, we become one flesh with our spouse, our use of the words mine and me transform to ours and us. Do you remember the day you surrendered to Christ? (If not please talk with me on Twitter or below). You knew in your heart that it was the very best thing for you, it was what you were created for. I love being part of Sunday services where an altar call is given and I always tear up when people are saved, much like a wedding, you realize that person just made a life long commitment to Christ.
Being married for almost 13 years now, I know that I make a choice to be happy each day I walk in the door of my home. The Joy of the Lord is a product of obeying God and pursuing a relationship with Christ, happiness is a choice of the moment. Technically happiness is not a biblical promise, but some preachers preach that life is all tulips and roses once you are saved and to just concentrate on love, grace and mercy. While I do believe we should focus on positive aspects of our walk with Christ, there are the inroads of judgment, holiness and sacrifice that are just as much a part of being a Christian as all the feel good aspects.
A person who chooses to be happy displays self-control (one of the most difficult fruits of the Spirit to grow) and lives a life that Philippians 2:2-4 tells us to live. We are challenged to live without selfish ambition. Anger is just as much a choice as happiness and the more you succumb to anger the harder it is to be happy; however, the more we put on happiness the harder it is to get angry. It’s my choice… It’s your choice!
- Josh Moran is a husband, father, minister, business owner, marketer and follower of Jesus who loves to write about theology, ministry, technology, and business from a biblical worldview.
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