If I could give you eight principles that would guarantee happiness, would you follow them? I think a more likely response would be to scoff and roll your eyes. In our culture we see many so-called Secrets to Happiness; we become cynical about attaining happiness. So many claim to have the secret, yet no one is truly happy.
As it happens, I do know the eight secrets, let’s call them attitudes, to happiness. I learned them at Elijah Bible Camp this last week. I didn’t come up with them, my Savior did. I’m sure you’ve heard of them:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are- no more no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘carefull,” you find yourselves cared for.
You’re blessed when you get your inside world–your mind and heart–put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.”
(Matthew 5:2-10, The Message)
I think that I’ve only heard this passage of Scripture preached on maybe twice ever. Is it because it contains such complicated paradoxes? Perhaps. But I think that means it needs to preached all the more. Jesus guarantees that if we have these attitudes we will be blessed, deeply and truly happy. Wow, how can we not want to study these? Not only that, but Jesus continues, saying that through this kind of life others will see you and be drawn to God. My challenge for myself this summer is to not just read through Matthew 5, say Amen and move on. But to study it, hide it in my heart and let the Holy Spirit manifest His attitudes in me. May the Lord bless you as well.