Emotionally Healthy Christians – Pursuit of Happiness (Unhealthy Emotions)

“…and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.” Acts‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

Psychologists have discovered happiness accumulates. If we have a particularly happy day, it will boost our well-being over the next two days. If we have a particularly unhappy day, it carries over for the next 4 days! “Chronic Happiness” is defined as 3 happy days for every bad day. People who demonstrated chronic happiness were better physically in terms of stress responses, the immune system, and cardiovascular health. Talk about healthy emotions! Happy people are also more effective at their work. In a research study of physicians, physicians did better on diagnosis and treatment plans on their happier days, and had the best patient satisfaction scores. When we are happy, we make more quality decisions and exhibit more creativity! However, most of us don’t know what causes unhappiness and what fosters happiness! (By the way, clergy are no more or less happy than the population at large.)

 

The founders of our country drafted the Declaration of Independence so we could pursue happiness. This July 4th read the entire document. You may be surprised by what it contains. The most popular phrase is a reminder of how the original 13 Colonies wanted to be free to engage in, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Freedom was important to them.

 

Psychologists have learned happiness is often a matter of perspective and not actual events. Some people can suffer a great deal like the Apostle Paul did and still be happy. Psychologists believe you can even redeem a terrible day by ending the day on a high note. Paul was imprisoned and yet while in chains spent his evening praising God. He became shipwrecked and yet his pursuit of God allowed him to experience happiness in the midst of strife. May you be like Paul and allow God to bring happiness to your day. May you accumulate days of  “Chronic Happiness,” so you may share your joy with others.

 

Questions To Consider:

1. How do you best experience “happiness? What activities make you happy? What people make you happy?

 

2. What do you do to bring happiness to others?

 

3. Would you say you are in a state of “Chronic Happiness?” Why or why not?

 

In Christ’s love and service,

Pastor Paul Marzahn