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The Path to Happiness and Contentment

November 24, 2011

Studies are never wrong, right?  Studies conclusively prove that churchgoers are vastly happier than those who don’t.  I think it’s safe to say that “churchgoers” means, most likely, Christians and Jews.  Possibly Muslims, though the various sampling of these studies didn’t include enough Muslims to be certain.  (Many studies also point out that conservatives are happier than liberals, but I don’t want to skew this post by making it political.)

Why?  I think the answer is particularly appropriate today, on Thanksgiving, because gratitude is the answer.  I hope that non-churchgoers are thankful, but is thanksgiving a daily or even weekly consideration for non-churchgoers?  

As Christians, we see daily reasons for gratitude if we are faithful to look.  More importantly, we recognize that we have done nothing worthy of blessing.  Make no mistake, the biblical promise of “what goes around comes around” applies to the good we do as well as the bad, but I don’t think a single Christian aware of the doctrine of sin isn’t overwhelmingly convinced that the blessing of living in America and continual showering of grace from our God is in any way merited by the little good we do. In fact, we are painfully aware that even the good we do is empowered by God and not ourselves.

To live the life of an unbeliever is to think our tremendous blessing are random events with no one to truly thank, or worse that we, in our greatness, deserve our blessings.  What a hollow and deceptive belief.  For the “spiritual” folks without any belief in God, as they “thank the universe” it is a one-way transaction.  The universe does not say “you’re welcome” but God does.

Imagine losing the wonderful reciprocal relationship we enjoy with God.  No thank-you goes unreturned.  God’s blessing increases when we’re grateful!

We have known time of difficulty and uncertainty, but even then we had so much to be grateful for.  I am told by my wife and kids “I love you” multiple times a day.  We are amazingly healthy despite our colds, aches and pains.  No matter how bad it gets, we know that we are cared for by family, friends and God.  The difficult times remind me of what’s really important.  I’ve been betrayed by friends and business partners–but my family loves me.  I have been at points in my life where no income was coming in… but I’ve never known hunger or lack of shelter.

I have known times of immense blessing in finances, relationships, and hopes; I have realized life-long goals and greater circumstance than 99% of the people who have ever lived on this planet.  And God tells me that what awaits me in eternity makes all of that pale in comparison.

Yes! I am thankful! How, oh how, could I not be?

Thank you, God, family and friends!  I am rich in your care! 



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