How to Have a Happier Life

Happiness is important to everyone.  We all search for things that are fun and fulfilling.  When we find things that make us happy they become a regular part of our life.   Whether it’s a hobby, a friendship or some recreational activity, if it’s fun, we find time and a way to do it.

The Bible tells us about an activity that’s guaranteed to bring us happiness.  Take a look at the Apostle Paul’s description of something he discovered that brought great fulfillment to his life:

… You’ll not likely go wrong  … if you keep remembering that our Master said, “You’re far happier giving than getting.”  —  Acts 20:35 (Message)

In this passage, Paul shared with the church leaders at Ephesus some final words of instruction and encouragement before he left for Jerusalem.  He knew that the next time he would see these folks would be in heaven.  It was his earthly farewell to people he cared for deeply.

Knowing this would be his last opportunity to communicate his heart to them, he chose his words carefully and wisely.  He made sure to emphasize what really mattered.  One of the last lessons Paul gave this group was about giving.  He reminded his friends that cheerful, generous giving was one key to a happy life.

Paul learned this lesson from Jesus.  Paul embraced cheerful, generous giving as the spirit and practice of his life.  From personal experience, he knew that Jesus’ words were true.  It really was “more blessed to give than to receive!”

Paul didn’t want this truth it to slip away from people he loved.  He understood that it was a secret to their happiness.  It’s a secret to our happiness too.

To live this way we must have a different mindset from the culture that surrounds us.  Most people think that getting is better than giving.  The general perspective is that happiness comes when we get things we want.

While Jesus never taught that receiving blessings is a sinful or bad thing, He did teach that it should not be the driving motive of life.  Jesus made it clear, in His words and by His example, that the greatest blessings, fulfillment and joy are found on the pathway called cheerful, generous giving.  This is the way to a happier life!

 

Dale O'Shields

 

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