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A Three-Point Psalmist Antidote for Happiness

People who are active in religious congregations tend to be happier and more civically engaged than either religiously unaffiliated adults or inactive members of religious groups, according to a Pew Research Center poll in January 2019.

The debate over what makes one happy has raged for centuries. It’s really not what we do as much as what we do not do (or what we do not allow). Think of your life as an airport. You the control tower. God has equipped you with his “global positioning satellite” (His Word). Who or what do you allow for takeoff (with your joy) and landing (bringing to your joy)?

The Psalmist provides the believer a three-point antidote for happiness.

“Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God.”

Psalm 1:1-3 (Good News Bible)

One, do not make evil people your counselors.

Everyone has an unofficial “counselor”; we often call a person we are close to for an opinion. The problem is most people we call on are preoccupied with their own mess. In fact, most people trying to extricate themselves from their stuff really don’t care about yours. “Evil” here does not connate something murderous or vicious, but rather a person operating from their darkened understanding.

Two, do not do what the Jones’ do.

Oh when we peer over into the lawn of the Jones’ and believe their grass to be greener than ours, we get a dose of reality! Turns out the Jones’ fortunes are not as bright as they appear. The truth is we don’t know what the Jones’ are doing, nor should we care, outside of bringing the love of Christ to them.

Three, do not hang with people who have no use for God.

How many birthday celebrations, get togethers, or holiday meals have you shared with those who have no use for God; those whose ideas, philosophies, and belief systems run counter to yours as a follower of Christ. We do not tend to realize just how lost people are without God until many pounds, bouts of depression and mental breakdowns later.

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