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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a pre-occupation

with self.
It is everywhere.

I find it in my own heart.
and see it in the lives of those around me.
[not just physically around me. I'm on facebook too.] 

there are books: self-help. self-awareness. self-esteem. self-improvement. self-happiness. self. self. self-ISH. 

and I am at least as guilty [if not more] than the next person in line. this line of life. in line to be happy. find peace. get that handout of contentment.

but the premise of these guides: the idea that happiness can be found inside yourself, is completely non-Christian. un-Biblical.

This is long. and not meant to 'tickle' any ears.
{But I speak to myself first [and always] and [always] with LOVE to any who continue on.}

I looked up the word HAPPY in The Word, and here are all the verses I found:

Genesis 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher. [child-bearing]

Deuteronomy 33:29 Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places. [God was there Savior, Shield, Sword]
1Kings 10:8 Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. [heard wisdom]

2Chronicles 9:7 Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. [heard wisdom]

Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: [God's correction: a proof of being His child]

Psalm 127:5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them [having children]: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128:2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. [fear the Lord and walk in His ways. vs1]

Psalm 137:8,9 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. [this has to do with the destruction of a wicked people]

Psalm 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. [God is my Lord]

Psalm 146:5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: [God is my help & hope]

Pr 3:13, 18 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. [getting wisdom]

Proverbs 14:21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. [show mercy on the poor]

Proverbs 16:20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. [trust God]

Proverbs 28:14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. [reverence God]

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. [hear and heed the Word of God]

Jer 12:1* Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? [Jeremiah is questioning God's allowing wicked people to prosper. In the next chapter God tells Jeremiah that the wicked will be punished.]
Mal 3:15* And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. [these words are spoken against the Lord. and rebuked by Him]

John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. [be a servant. follow Jesus' example]

Acts 26:2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: [Paul was happy to give account of himself, as a follower of Jesus. what a thought!]

Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. [refrain from doing what may be doubtful to new Christians so as not to be a stumbling block]

James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. [suffer & endure affliction for the cause of Christ]

1Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; [suffer & endure affliction for the cause of Christ] vs 15 &  16: sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer... [for] a reason of the hope that is in you... having a good conscience...

1Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. [suffer & endure affliction for the cause of Christ]

There are a couple of recurring themes for happiness here: 
having/bearing children
trusting God [knowing He is your Help. Savior. Hope]
enduring persecution
heeding the Word
and a few single thoughts:
being corrected by God [proof of being His child]
showing mercy on the poor
being a servant.
giving account of our life as a Christian
not being a stumbling block to new Christians.

Then, of course, there is the word Blessed. and the BeAttitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 {each a study all to itself}.

But the point is that NONE of these Scripture has anything to do with self. at all. 

Man does not fully understand nor could he have designed conception. birth. children. And child-rearing? That is not an endeavor I would wish to attempt without God and His Word. His direction. [and child-bearing is something that only a woman can experience. {staggering}]
Trusting God is purely NON-self-related. If it were not for God there would be no me. I must let go of ME to allow Him to HAVE me. [think of the game where you fall blindly into the arms of the person behind you. that is trust. and there is not one thing you can do to keep from falling to the ground once you start.] I must let go and let God carry me.
Enduring persecution is probably the height of unselfishness. the overwhelming submission to God's working through me. through you.

There is not one place in Scripture where we are told to think of ourselves before others. or to 'better' ourselves as is the world's view of happiness. Doing so is not heeding the Word. and does not bring happiness. [speaking from experience]

When I am corrected by God it is often because I have been thinking of myself before others and have stumbled. disobeyed. been a stumbling block. But that correction tells me that He is my Father. and that causes happiness. {amazing}

Helping the poor. being a servant. these are not glamorous acts that bring fame or fortune. or even comfort and security. Sometimes it means going completely out of the 'comfort zone' and even using some of that [already] budgeted cash for someone else. But it brings happiness. {extraordinary happiness}

If giving account of my life as a Christian is to bring happiness, I must be LIVING the LIFE of a CHRISTIAN. {penitent. right now.}

There are some things that I am free to do. actions that I could pursue. They are not wrong. But the mere fact that younger or immature Christians see me and know that I have been saved for many years and have a position of 'staff wife' in my church means that I am NOT free to do just anything 'willy-nilly' without thought of these spiritual babes. I am {somewhat} responsible for their reaction to my actions. But being aware and mindful of that brings its own happiness.

So. Are we ready to BE HAPPY today? 

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