Why It’s Okay for You to Be Happier

I Love October photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

This morning I almost threw a book across the room. Except it was on my iPhone. And that would have been a poor decision on my part. A devotional my husband and I were reading said the equivalent of “happiness is worldly and joy is spiritual.” No, no, no.

Pursuing happiness outside of God’s boundaries is sin–just like anything else we do apart from his commands.

But pursuing it within what his boundaries is a way of honoring him.

Wise Solomon said, “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live” {Eccl. 3:12}.

And when the Israelites were exiled from the Promised Land one of the reasons God gave was this: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity” {Deut. 28:47}.

As I said before, our other emotions are also a gift from God and it’s okay to be sad, mad, hurt or angry. I just simply want to say it’s also okay to be happy.

Happiness is the I’m-a-human-on-earth equivalent of joy. In heaven we won’t need happiness anymore because we will only be spiritual beings. But for now we are here and we are human and happiness can be part of worshipping our Maker.

Our brains are wired with what scientists like to call “a negativity bias.” We’re designed to look for threats, which is essential to our survival. That means if we’re sitting in a park and a bear comes charging out of the woods we see the bear more than the lovely flowers behind him. It also means we have to intentionally overcome that negativity bias. In other words, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” {Rom. 12:12}. That happens in a variety of different ways, some that seem “spiritual” and others that are surprisingly “practical.”

Because I struggle with depression and anxiety I’ve come to see happiness as a choice and a spiritual discipline. Pursuing happiness feels like exercise to me. And faking it doesn’t work–just like sitting on my stationery bike and pretending to ride doesn’t make me stronger. We’ve got to discover and pursue what truly helps us be happier. {Note: I’m using the word “happier” not “happy” because the goal is simply to be growing in happiness in ways that honor God even if we’re going through a hard time.}

So how do we pursue being happier in small, practical ways? That’s what we’re going to cover the next few days. It’s not as hard or as complicated as you may think. And it’s actually a lot of fun. I’ll share what’s helped me be happier and I’d love to hear from you too!

Happiness can be holy.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

 

p.s. I believe depression is real and if you’re in a place where you feel stuck emotionally then it’s time to get help. I’m a huge fan of counseling and also talking with your doctor. If you’re not sure where to start, you can go to www.ecounseling.com.

Friends, I also wanted to pass along an opportunity to give to a sweet family in need. There is an online auction that has been organized for a Miracle of Maverick. I invite you to check out the auction and support this sweet family.

31 Days to a Happier You

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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