The web site, “Live Science” started an article recently with this injunction, “If you’re not happy and you know it read along. You’ve watched “Seinfeld” reruns, splurged on yourself and downed pints of Ben and Jerry’s. Nothing’s helping. Maybe you’re one of the 20 million Americans diagnosed with depression, you’re bottoming out or you just want something to improve your day.” And the article went on to identify 5 ways to get a boost in life.
I was amused to note that all five points have their root in scriptural instructions.
The first one was “pick good parents.” The article was trumpeting our genes over any kind of environmental factors. Apparently one of those famous studies with mice indicated that human happiness may one day be dependent on the scientific manipulation of genes. Or, we can take to heart the statement in Ps. 103 (verse 17) that indicates that the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear Him (give Him the respect and honor due Him). The result is “His righteousness (continues) unto children’s children.”
The second key to happiness was to give money away. Isn’t that the truth taught in Luke 6:38 “Give and it shall be given unto you…pressed down, shaken together…”? And the third key called for contemplation. The article encouraged us to find a “happy place.” Well, it seems that Solomon understood that principle when he reminded us in Proverbs 23:7 that “as a man thinks in his own heart, so is he.”
The fourth key was to work out. As you probably know, physical exercise releases endorphins and changes the level of cortisol in our blood stream. Both of which help produce a kind of natural high. In the New Testament, Paul acknowledged the benefit of physical exercise in I Tim. 4:8, but made sure Timothy understood that the exercise of godly behavior was more profitable.
The last key might have come out of an episode of Star Trek where Spock enjoins his friends to “live long and prosper.” The article cites a study of 2 million people scattered among 80 nations which found that depression is most common among adults in the mid-40s. Apparently, older folks tend to see their golden years as indeed golden. With wisdom garnered through their extended life, the proverbial glass goes from half empty to half full. Solomon weighed in on this one too, when he remarked that grey hair is a crown of glory, but only when the person is found to be pursuing righteousness (Prov. 16:31).
So what are the keys of happiness? That’s easy. Look at Psalm 16:11:
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Get and stay in step with the Lord and joy will be your companion through life!
Warmest Regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools