3 More Habits of Happy People
by Debbie Holloway, Crosswalk.com Contributor
In a previous devotional, I mentioned the first 3 "Habits of Happy People" according to a list I recently found. I figured I would share more Happiness Tips and continue to measure how the wisdom fits into a Christian worldview. So, let’s look at three more habits of happy people…
1. Express gratitude for what you have
Gratitude, or thankfulness, is encouraged throughout Scripture. Just a few verses espousing this attitude include:
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” (Psalm 95:2)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6).
Followers of Christ are meant to be selfless, other-focused, and God-focused, not wrapped up in our own temporary discontentment. Noticing the blessings we do have, and expressing gratitude for them, helps us remember the big picture: we have already been given the ultimate gift of life through Christ!
2. Dream big
The most important thing the Bible tells us about ourselves is that our identity in Christ, and our status as God’s creations and children, should underscore everything we do. Do you think of yourself as a slave to sin, or to a static, hum-drum life? Well, Paul says:
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:17).
Co-heirs. Sharing in his glory! According to Christ, God notices the fate of sparrows – so how much more does he care for the hopes and dreams of his sons and daughters? Christ also says that our faith is strong enough to move mountains, and that we will accomplish greater things for his Kingdom than even he did during his ministry. If that doesn’t say “dream big!” – I don’t know what does!
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Not only do the Scriptures encourage us to let go of anxiety over “small stuff” – but God even wants us to relinquish worry over BIG stuff! Consider this passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Intersecting Faith and Life: Is active gratitude part of your daily routine? What about anxiety? Is a skewed perspective of yourself limiting your potential?