Author Max Lucado offered words of wisdom about happiness, stressing that the best way to become happy is to give encouragement.
In a Monday discussion at the Museum of the Bible, Lucado sat down with National Community Church Pastor Mark Batterson to explore the nature of happiness. Lucado’s latest book is called How Happiness Happens.
During a summer sermon series the author stumbled upon some statistics about happiness that whet his appetite for exploring the subject — a Harris survey showing that only one in three Americans considers themselves to be happy. In light of this discovery he continued to research the topic and found several other pieces of corresponding data.
“How could this be? We’ve never lived in a more advanced culture. We’ve never lived in a society that has more technological advances, and I know we’re far from perfect … but there’s a lot of things to be grateful for,” Lucado said.
It dawned on him that the focus of his sermon series, which was on the “one another” verses in Scripture, were the “secret sauce” of happiness. He recalled the words of Jesus where he said that “it was better to give than receive” and how he had seen that to be true. As he gave, his spirit was lifted, and he was happier. A self-centered life, by contrast, yields sadness, he continued.
Asked why he thinks happiness is so hard to find, he replied: “Unique to our day and age, unique to our generation, unique especially to our society, is this literal bombardment of marketing that seeks to tell me I’m unhappy in order that I’ll make a purchase that will make me happy, which eventually does not make me happy, which disappoints me, which then makes me think I need to try all again. It’s this cycle.”
“For example, I didn’t know that I should be self-conscious about having a bald spot until the television commercial told me I shouldn’t have a bald spot,” the author said, receiving laughs from the crowd.
He soon found himself looking in the mirror.
“The counterintuitive message of Christ is that happiness happens not when you accumulate but when you share. Happiness happens not when you have more, but when you give more.
“The true, lasting happiness that no one can take away from you happens when you give it away.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter