Happiness Habit: Know What Counts and What Doesn’t Count
By Rick Warren
“Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8a NLT)
Every day when you get up, you need to remind yourself what counts and what doesn’t count. Don’t be distracted by what’s inconsequential and petty in life.
Why is this an important habit? Have you noticed how easy it is to lose your joy over some small thing? It’s usually the small irritations that cause you to lose your happiness. Somebody cuts you off in the middle of the road when you’re trying to make a turn, and you lose your happiness. You’re having a bad hair day or the clothes you put on don’t fit anymore, and you lose your happiness. It’s the little things that sometimes affect us the most, and yet they don’t really matter.
Paul says in Philippians 3:7, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done” (NLT).
What was the most important thing to you before you met Jesus Christ? Work? Career? Making money? Maybe it was getting a date. Maybe it was being popular. Maybe it was having security or being famous.
Paul says all those things don’t matter anymore compared to the joy of knowing Jesus.
The trap that’s going to keep you from developing this habit is pop culture. Every day there are thousands of advertising messages that say, “You aren’t worth anything until you’ve got our product.” Even television news makes every item sound like it’s the most important thing of the day. It’s not! Nothing is as worthless as yesterday’s newspaper. Just because it’s urgent and immediate does not mean it’s important.
You have to ask yourself about everything: How much will this matter in 100 years? How much of what I’m worrying about right now is going to matter tomorrow? It’s probably not going to matter tomorrow, much less for eternity. You need to live in light of eternity.
America is on trivial pursuit. We’re living for things that don’t really matter. So to be counter culture, you’ve got to focus not on what’s current but what’s eternal. When you live in light of eternity, you realize that the small things you’re worrying about aren’t going to matter in eternity, and instead of stressing out, you can be a happier person.
“Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8a). Every day, remember what matters most.
Talk It Over
- What small things have you been worrying about that have robbed your happiness?
- What are the practical ways you can turn your focus to God and keep an eternal perspective?
- What was the most important thing to you before you believed in Jesus Christ? How do you feel about it now?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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