• 90°

FAITH: Don’t worry, be happy

Karen Stevens

I was listening to Nehemiah this morning on Biblegateway audio.  It was talking about Nehemiah being the cupbearer to the King.  Nehemiah must have always been cheerful because one day the King noticed that Nehemiah was sad, and ask him about it.

It states the King knew Nehemiah was not sick, but sad.  I thought about this.  It was great that the King knew him so well he could tell the difference between sadness and sickness, but the best part is that Nehemiah put his best foot forward every day so when something grave did happen, the King knew it was important to Nehemiah.

In others words, Nehemiah was not crying wolf all the time about something.  So many of us today cry on people’s shoulders about the smallest things.

We say things like, “God knows these small things are important”, or “All these small things add up”.  I know I am guilty of that last one.  It does seem to get to you after awhile of a lot of little things piling up on your plate, but if we didn’t hang on to those small things, they would not be adding up.  I know, I know – to let go of small stuff while you’re in the mist of it being rained down on you – is very difficult; so maybe we should try to change our attitude of what bothers us.

Immediately when something small happens, tell yourself, “this is not important”, “it could be worse”, or anything so your mind won’t view it negatively.  I know when I have said this to myself, the little things don’t seem to add up to something insurmountable.

According to www.npd.com – 18.6 million units of “Self Help Books” sold in 2019.  www.inc.com states that people are brainwashed into thinking that reading self-help books, or taking medication can evaporate their problems and help them find happiness.  They go on to say “Most Americans are unhappy, despite the abundance of material wealth, the idealism of democratic values, and flashy new iPhones.  And the truth is that self-help-industry–are profiting off of the emotional pain of people seeking quick fixes.”  So naturally they want us to stay off balance, and stay unhappy.  They are making money on us by giving us information that will not help us, or change our lives.

Forbes.com asked the question – “Do self-help books actually do anything?  The answer – “No effect: Even though people may find self-help books interesting to read (or just have), they don’t work because the advices are just common sense, or overly simplistic, and people don’t do anything with them.”  www.inc.com goes further in saying “Convincing yourself that you are inadequate–that your life needs something more, and that you need to achieve things, own things, and buy things to find happiness–is what shackles you to unhappiness.”

The only way to discover true happiness is to surrender to it.  Transform your habits.  And stop practicing unhappiness.

“Find someone who knows what they’re talking about and learn from them.  And it is that simple.”  My husband used to buy me self-help books all the time.  I guess he thought I needed fixing, but he claimed it was because I always bought Bible Studies and did them.  Well, they are not the same.  Changing your life thru God’s word, and trying to change your life thru man’s word, is two different things.  Don’t hold this against my husband, his heart was probably in the right place.  (LOL!)

I do know being happy is a state of mind.  No one can make you mad, or happy.  You do that all on your own.

Someone told me this long ago, and I did not believe them, but it is so true.  You choose to be mad about something, or you choose to be happy about it.

Read Matthew 6:26 about worrying.

Worrying about something will make you unhappy.  Matthew leads me to believe that God knows we have a tendance to worry, but the scripture suggest we can stop worrying, if we choose.

Choose happiness like Nehemiah did, and then when something earth shattering does happen, (and it will – like in Nehemiah’s story), you can call on your friends for prayers and support.

I did read in Pew Research that most Christians who say they will pray for you; don’t.  Maybe if we weren’t asking for prayer all the time, they would pray for us when we really need it.

Take on Bobby McFerrin’s moto in his song – “Don’t worry, be Happy”.

Karen Y. Stevens, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels