This is Celia C. Tillman, bringing you greetings and encouragement from the Honey-Comb of Praises. Our lesson for this month is WHAT IS HAPPINESS? Happiness can connote or suggest many things to different people. Happiness is probably the easiest emotion to feel and the most difficult to define. To some it is the absence of pain; to others enough money in the bank to cover an outstanding check or babies who have stopped crying in the middle of the night or being able to convey to your teenage daughter or son that you are a friend and not an enemy. Many people are overwhelmed with happiness when they buy a new home or a new car, however ten years later, when the house and car are in need of repairs, then the emotions change.
In our society today, however, there are many people who evade their true feelings of why they are not happy. Some may say: If only I could be happy, then I would be more satisfied, If only someone truly loved me or if I wasn’t under so much financial stress, then I could be more content. If only, if only, and it goes on and on.
The late Marva Collins, founder and director of the Westside Preparatory School in Chicago, once said, “My happiness comes from what I do for others, and my unhappiness comes when I know that people who are important to me are unhappy, or when I know children are going to fail, or when I see sixteen-year-old young people who can’t read, and people who have no place to live; eating out of garbage pails.” Mrs. Collins contrasted happiness and unhappiness by using them as example of how they made her feel emotionally.
Ladies, whatever the world defines as happiness, we know as Christians that true happiness can only be found in God. “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God,” (Psalm 146:5). Ladies, true happiness involves an understanding, appreciation, and respect for God; loving him and having a positive image of self, however we can be so caught up in “self” that we forget about others and their needs. We pass through this world only once, and through passing we can be a part of the minority who may be able to bring hope and sunshine into someone’s life. Living for self is such an unhappy life. Selfishness is not only a prerequisite to unhappiness but a major stumbling block to one’s well-being. Can we say that we can be happy as Christians? Sure we can, if we have found that peace which is of God, and that passes all understanding, which will keep our minds and hearts through Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:7).
Happiness is made up of many things; having a clear conscience may promote happiness. (1) Joseph’s brothers didn’t have a clear conscience because of jealousy and envy, (Read Genesis 37:1-29). (2) The Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus to be convicted of adultery but instead, their own conscience convicted them of their sins, (Read John 8:1-9). Ladies our conscience will continue to convict us as long as we feel a sense of guilt, and where guilt is and no repentance, then there is no happiness. The conscience can accuse or excuse, meaning it can either charge or blame, or it can free us from any
Sin, if we confess our sins to God, who is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins; to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,( I John 1:9). (3) Happiness is forgetting the past and for some of us this is hard to do, but the Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things in Christ which strengthen me,” (Philippians 4:13). In Philippians 3:13-14, the Apostle Paul leave all of us encouraging words to follow and he said, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things, which are before, and I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 3:13-14).
Ladies, if the truth be told, there are too many unpleasant things in some of our past that we care not to be burden down with. We must rid ourselves of things that cause us to fall back into our old pattern of life. We have Christ now, so why do we need to drown ourselves in unhappiness which does nothing but hinder our spiritual growth. Those of us that have gone down into the watery grave of baptism have had our sins blotted out by the blood of Jesus Christ, (by the shedding of his blood on the cross). We shouldn’t have to relive our sins over and over again because we have an abundance of happiness in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Note: WHAT IS HAPPINESS, excerpts taken from the book, Honey-Comb of Praises, pages 99-103, Author, Celia C. Tillman
- What is true happiness? Explain
- Where can true happiness be found? Explain, and give scripture.
- What does true happiness involves in the life of a Christian? Explain
- What is a major stumbling block to ones well-being? Explain
- True or False: Having a clear conscience can promote happiness.
- True or False: Joseph brothers were very loving toward him.
- True or False: Guilt can be an unhappy and stressful emotion.
- True or False: The Scribes and Pharisees were sinless when they brought the woman to Jesus.
- True or False: The conscience can accuse or excuse.
- True or False: There are many people today who hide their true feelings of why they are not happy.
- True or False: Forgetting the past promotes a healthy conscience.
- True or False: Where there is a sense of guilt, and no repentance, one still can be forgiven.
- True or False: True happiness can be found in material possessions.
- True or False: Selfishness should be a part of a child of God.
- True or False: The Apostle Paul said that he always remember those things in the past.