Everyone wants to be happy, don’t they? That’s a silly question even to ask. If you had to choose between being happy and being unhappy, who wouldn’t choose happiness? Happiness is so important to us that it’s enshrined in our nation’s founding document, stating that Americans are given the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (notice the Declaration of Independence never promised us happiness, just the pursuit of it).
And that is what our lives are: the pursuit of happiness. But too many of us believe a myth about happiness, namely that happiness is determined by outward circumstances. If our spouse is acting right, if our parents love us, if our kids behave, if the government leaves us alone, if our boss is pleasant, if we’ve got money in the bank and food on the table, then we’ll be happy. Yet the biggest problem with this approach to happiness is that it takes our happiness out of our hands and puts it in the hands of people and forces outside of our control. Very rarely do the stars line up in our favor, everything conspiring to make our life easy and pleasant. Life in reality is dysfunctional and broken relationships, consequences of bad decisions and other people trying to get ahead at our expense. And thus, we are unhappy. But we don’t have to be. There is a better way.
If you want to start being happier today, here are six ancient steps from the pages of Scripture.