Seven men gathered at Harrisburg Family House to discuss the pursuit of Happiness. We got a little off track, and strode into a discussion of the importance of attitude (and its effect on our Happiness.) The following is what we planned to discuss. Gotta show to know the rest of the story.
In these days of Pestilence, Plagues, and Politics, it’s not easy to have a Positive Attitude. However, I can honestly say there is no greater leadership quality than to approach life with sense of Optimism. It builds loyalty, motivates the masses, and inspires your fellow man.
Today’s discussion focuses on what the Bible has to say about the The Pursuit of Happiness.
Admittedly, I am not an avid reader of Biblical text and, truth be told, I’ve never read the Bible all the way through. That being said, this verse has made a significant impact on my life.
- Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV)
Bam! The Apostle Paul nails it in one short (kinda) concise sentence. We’re done, pass the bacon, did anybody check out the Panther’s game Thursday? When are they going to get it together? Just kidding.
Discuss the Leadership implications of this verse.
- How often have you come up against something that seems like a negative, and then when you really think about it, there is some good that came of it?
- How much better would your attitude be if you practiced this advice in your daily interactions with others?
General thoughts on achieving and maintaining Happiness:
- Focus on the good things in your life; list your blessings
Whichever you call it, make a list of those items you are grateful for and contemplate them regularly. It’s amazing how much happier and more positive you are when you truly focus on the good things in your life.
- A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
- Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
- Strive to live a life of contentment
The Buddhists have a saying: ‘Contentment is the highest wealth.’ When we are content we do not need to get anything, go anywhere or be anything to have happiness. Because we already are, and thus, contentment is more valuable than any possession or accomplishment
Learn to stop chasing those things that do not matter and focus on those that do.
- Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you (ESV)
- Worry less
It’s taken me years to realize that I do not need to worry about every little detail in my life. Learn to let things go. More often than not, things turn out for the best anyway.
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (ESV)
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- 25 “Therefore I tell you,do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV)
A lot of negative energy is tied up in animosity toward a perceived slight/wrong doing by another. This is time and resources that can be better spent focusing on the positive aspects of one’s life.
- Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (ESV)
- Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (ESV)
- Look at the adverse situations in your life as a means of preparation for greater challenges ahead.
Bad things happen to good people. Why? Because though it may sound cliché, these life experiences make you stronger. Focusing on the lessons learned from these trials and tribulations, rather than on why you are being put through them, will pay dividends in the long run.
- For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.(ESV)
- Practice patience
Like your average three year old, we often want the good things in life, NOW! When we do not get them, we have negative feelings toward the World/God. In reality, all things happen in God’s time and when we are ready to receive them. The sooner we realize this, the happier we will be.
- I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (ESV)
- John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” (ESV)
- Treat others well
This is the single greatest way to achieve Happiness. When we work to do good for others, we in turn feel Happy.
- Sowhatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (ESV)
- A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (ESV)
- One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (ESV)
- A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)
Discuss the Leadership implications of this list:
- Notice the active nature of the list above, and that you (with God’s help) are ultimately responsible for initiating the happiness in your life.
- What are some of the ways we can instill these concepts in our families?
This is but the tip of the iceberg on what the Bible has to say with regards to Happiness.
- Thank you for the opportunity to lead Gentlemen.Your participation meant a lot.
- Read over what I planned to discuss and fill in the blanks where we left off. Gotta follow my own advice on Time Management 😉
- Nice discussion on the Back of the PAX vs the Front of the PAX in our daily workout, and the difference of attitude between the two sections.
- The brief respite on Attitude and Effort comes from the book The Legacy Builder. Great short read and was reviewed at the last F3 Connect (Exit 18) meeting.
- It was great to see Bewitched back out after illnesses and work had kept him at bay. We will keep a seat warm for you Brother
- Community Outreach: Shoes (BBQ) and Soup through tomorrow (SoloCup/Schedule C)