Summary: Rev, Fair speaks of ways to find the Happiness you seak
HOW TO FIND TRUE HAPPINESS
How blest are those who know they are poor; the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
How blest are the sorrowful; they shall find consolation.
How blest are those of a gentle spirit; they shall have the earth for their possession.
How blest are those who hunger and thirst to see right prevail; they shall be satisfied.
How blest are those who show mercy; mercy shall be shown to them.
How blest are those whose hearts are pure; they shall see God.
How blest are the peacemakers; God shall call them his sons.
How blest are those who have suffered persecution for the cause of right; the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” (Matthew 5: 3-10) (NEB)
The American Public Health Association reported a few years ago that unhappy, ineffective and upset persons make up about one-third of the population of the United States. If the above statistics are even approximately correct, Americans is in trouble, and deep trouble at that. For we are discovering that in the age in which we live, conditions are becoming worse instead of better.
More homes are being broken up today by a variety of causes than at any time in our nation’s history. Yet we make more money, have better houses, eat better food, drive better cars, enjoy more opportunities than any other generation. Most folk will agree that we are in need of a transfusion of spiritual and moral energy for our sick society.
The Archbishop of Canterbury once said at a prominent wedding; “We all wish you happiness, but our wishes cannot give it”. While it is certainly true that we cannot give happiness to another person, yet we can lift up some rules for finding it. With this thought in mind, we offer five suggestions for finding true happiness.
1. First, we would like to suggest that happiness must come from within; it is not a product of our environment, but a state of condition of our spiritual and mental processes. Real happiness is not produced by pleasant physical surroundings, but is generated by a “HAPPY” condition which already exists within the heart. In other words, our state of happiness is the result of an inward spiritual atmosphere which always remains constant and unchanging in the midst of an ever-changing and unpredictable atmosphere around us. Therefore, no matter what our outward conditions, we always have this unchanging world within us that governs our central being.
2. The second principle for happiness is forgiveness. The Psalmist said, “Blessed (or happy) is he whose transgressions is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Forgiveness is always a two-way street. It not only involves forgiveness for our transgressions, but also a willingness on our part to forgive one another. No person can find happiness when he is unwilling to forgive his fellowmen. Hatred and an unforgiving spirit will eat at the soul like a cancer. If allowed to continue, it will destroy all of our joy and eventually destroy us. If we would find happiness, we must not only seek personal forgiveness for our sins, but we must be willing to forgive and forget when our fellow beings are involved.
3. A third ingredient necessary for true happiness is found in memories that have a minimum of remorse. A book of ethics tells us to “So live that the years are pleasant to look back upon.” The happiest people are always those who can look back on life with a degree of satisfaction. Each of us has heard some comment on his life by saying, “If I had it to live over, I would live it just as I have lived it.” That person has a minimum of regrets. Jesus indicated that He had come to do the Father’s will, and that best of all, He had done it. The apostle Paul, at the close of his life stated, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” Is it any wonder that he found true happiness?
4. Another necessary ingredient is the feeling that we are contributing something of worth to society. If we are going to find happiness, we will never find it in self-seeking and self-gratification. Those who think only of what they are going to receive rather than what they can give to a world about them are, of all men, most miserable. We must have the inward feeling that we are making a contribution of ourselves to society, or we die and shrivel on the vine. Great men have always been men who placed the needs of others before their own selfish desires.
5. The last essential we would suggest is that of growth. A growing person is a happy person. Paul believe that the real goal of life was to grow the likeness of Jesus Christ. He believed that his happiness also stemmed from his desire to become more like the Christ whom he served. The song writer’s words, “More like the Master I would ever be,” are certainly not amiss for the person who would find true happiness.