How happy are you? Most of you would answer--given a scale of 1 to 10--with a nine or a ten, hopefully. Those of you who didn't would feel a need to justify your not-so-high response. But what if I could guarantee you that by this time next week you would be a happier person? What if during that week, I did a couple of things...out of the ordinary things to help place your life in perspective? What if I
- called to tell you that your banker had frozen all your assets and informed me that you no longer had a dime to your name
- informed you with another call that your boss had fired you without pay, stripping away all retirement funds and any other benefits
- also told you that the four people who mattered most to you (family or friends) had been killed in a horrible car accident
- told you that your doctor had called to say you had a terminal illness that allowed you only 6 weeks to live with no possible form of treatment.
Then, what if I came to your house, sat you down, looked you in the eye and told you everything I had shared with you was a lie, a hoax, a fabrication meant to change your perspective? After punching me in the face, maybe you'd understand the difference that perspective can have on your happiness.
He's right, you know. Happiness, based on your circumstances, is just that...happiness. And happiness changes with the events of your life, the emotions that fill your heart and the mood of your day. Jesus promised joy. Joy is measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with numbers 1 through 8 not counting. Joy comes in spite of your circumstances because it is based on a healthier perspective--one that comes from Christ Jesus and is focused on the eternal rather than the temporal. Joy takes the stance that, regardless of the situation, God's got it. It remembers that, in light of eternity, temporary setbacks will not change who we are.
God asked us to live lives full of joy. And the only way to do that is a change of perspective. By thinking less of ourselves and more of others, God puts our vision where it needs to be. When your vision is right, jobs, money, retirement, relationships and health all take on a different meaning for this world. So, how happy are you? And how does it show to a world who is watching you and me?