4 Habits of Happiness (Part 1)


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Timothy was a man who came highly recommended as a role model by the Apostle Paul to the Phillipian church in Greece. Here is the glowing recommendation/short bio given by Paul “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.” Phillipians 2:20-21

The starting point for all happiness is to learn to shift the focus away from myself. I have to care about more than just me. I have to care about the needs of those around me. Timothy was described by Paul as a man who entered a room and instead of asking himself how he looked, he genuinely sought out people who looked distressed. Timothy was not wrapped up in his own affairs. He sought out others and their needs. (“Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” Phillipians 2:4) If You want to live a happy lifestyle, you have to begin making a habit out of putting others before yourself.

According to a study, words being overused in literature today are “I”, “Me”, “My”, “Choice”, “Unique”, “Special”, and so on. It is almost counter-cultural to put others first. Used fewer are words such as “Prayer” and “Responsibility”. Commercial advertisements today are continuing to feed our self-absorbed appetites. Coke’s ad say “Open happiness”. The Audi vehicle company says “Joy.. Finally has meaning”. Sprites ad says “Obey Your Thirst”. Burger King’s ad says “Have it Your Way”. 

Media bombards us with images of what we all deserve. On the day of Thanksgiving, Americans across the country used fists, mace, and brawling to save sometimes as little as $20.00 to grab “Grey Thursday” shopping deals at area stores. Can you imagine yourself allowing everyone else to go ahead of you and grab their purchase? Oh no! We look out for ourselves, because “no one else will”. What if that is not true? Why do we forget that God is watching out for us? Always. 

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and His ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil.” 1 Pet. 3:12 A person who looks out only for himself will never be truly happy. The first habit of happiness is to “Learn to shift the focus away from myself and back on to others”. Remember Happiness Can Be Learned. 

Source: Excerpts from this devotional are from Rick Warren’s sermon “Happiness Can Be Learned”. (http://saddleback.com/mc/m/c896e/)

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