I was listening to a programme on the BBC which had a panel of experts, including a therapist, a doctor and a social journalist. They were discussing happiness, deciding between them what makes people happy and the means whereby everyone could increase their happiness. They discounted lots of money as a source; encouraged laughter as a means; and thought that expressing thankfulness or having a gratitude diary would contribute to personal happiness.
Mistakenly, people would equate pleasure with happiness. But pleasure is momentary, transient and needs a further substitute, whereas happiness is rather a constant state of mind in contentment. Paul is an example of this when he wrote, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Contentment, when in want, or when he was full. On another occasion he wrote that godliness with contentment is great gain. There is no doubt about it, that our personal happiness can help others to be content.
Oscar Wilde, the author, wrote humorously, “some people give happiness wherever they go; whereas others give happiness whenever they go.” We can spread a little happiness on life’s way, and particularly in showing our contentment in Christ.
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