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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Obligation to be Happy

"Folks are about as happy as they make up a mind to be."
~ Abraham Lincoln

Obligation to be Happy

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
~ 1 Timothy 6:6 (NKJV)

As part of an ebook project he is compiling, I’ve been asked by Marshall Jones ( to answer this question:

"In 150 words, what’s your best practical suggestion for serving others?"

My answer:

Dennis Prager says, "Not only do we have a right to be happy, we have an obligation to be happy. Our happiness has an effect on the lives of everyone around us—it provides them with a positive environment in which to thrive and to be happy themselves."

Emotional trauma will occur and bring times of mourning. This is not about that.

This is about daily choices to adopt a perspective of either curse or challenge, disturbance or opportunity, season of loss or season of change. Because our lives are bound up in the lives of those around us—because our perspective shapes our attitude—we serve others and glorify God by purposefully seeing life through rose-colored spectacles to clearly make out the Lord’s blessings and pass them along.

Such perspective is possible for those covered with the blood of Jesus, who look through that veil of red and live as citizens of Heaven.

Lord, our lives are filled with pain. This world is awash with suffering. You are yet good. You bless at every turn. Your love shall not fail. Please enable us to see You as greater and mightier and more enduring then whatever might make us falter at contentment in You.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. This is fantastic - thank you so much.

    I love the part about purposefully seeing life through rose-colored spectacles. A few weeks ago, I got an idea - something very similar to this - for a post I wanted to call "How to paint a rosy picture." And it's not fake - it's on purpose. Now I'm really going to have to write it. Thanks for the inspiration.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  2. I agree. Christ's blood brings me unimaginable joy, not unimaginable to me, but to the secular world. I find such deep contentment in life when I remind myself of the treasures of eternity.

  3. Awesome sweet sis, love you.

  4. I truly believe you can always, always find something to be thankful for.
    ~ Wendy

  5. Thank you for the encouragement, Anne. I needed the reminder that it's okay to look for the good, the blessing, every day. *big hugs*

  6. Contentment is a huge one! The sad thing is we get content with the wrong things. We think we've given enough, done enough, surrendered enough, listened enough... that we start believing it's time to focus on 'me.'

    Being content in our situations and lives is so liberating, and it fills me with hope that the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4 that he has LEARNED to be content whatever the circumstances. We can learn this if we trust and follow Him. Thanks, Anne.

  7. Oh, yes. No more slumped shoulders and intentional pouts. I am told to REJOICE!

  8. i'm gonna have a huge smile on my face at 1:30 P.M. on May 10 sis. that's when the judge will declare me as Bud Ezekiel:>

    btw...:> is a sheepish grin, don't you think?

  9. Oh dear! I didn't realize that I missed replying to this post. I've been struggling to keep a handle on kid activities, church activities, and publishing stuff—on top of being a little under the weather. My deepest apologies to my friends for my not replying sooner.

    Marshall ~ Thank you for suggesting the topic. I'm glad it dovetails into what you're up to.

    T ~ Ah, but if we make the world curious enough, sooner or later they'll have to wonder at the source of our joy.

    Denise ~ Tanks! Love you 2!

    Wendy ~ I had to study for a while on the verse about "in everything give thanks." It doesn't say to give thanks for everything. You're right. In everything, there is something to be thankful for.

    Ralene ~ It might be a difficult choice, but attitude is a choice. I'm glad this was timely for you. I pray God gives you and baby health and strength.

    Jason ~ "Being content in our situations and lives is so liberating." It really is—once we come to it. I appreciate your confirmation.

    Monica ~ Yes, I've held a pity party or two. As ugly as pouting is, we know it isn't godly. But I hope this is more than a "rah-rah" message. I pray with these words that the Lord gives each of us the needed strength as we look to Him.

    Bud ~ May 10th, you say? I'm smiling with you, Bud. :D :D :D

  10. What a fabulous reminder, Anne. Thank you for reminding me to look for the rose and turn my attention from gloom.

    God bless you today!

  11. Gwen ~

    When I did this post, I was looking for a photo of Lincoln which both conveyed the toll taken upon him by the presidency, but which also had a smile. Michaelle did a good deal of study on his death. She tells me this was the last photo taken of him.

    Do you suppose his ability to smile—after the hell he'd been through—was because he understood he'd been faithful to his calling?

    I believe I heard somewhere that Lincoln didn't think he really knew Christ until after he became president. I'd like to think that I see in his eyes a battered peace that only a Christian can know.


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