Happyness

Happyness

Physical, Mental, and Spiritual
Drew
Drew
801
views

Happyness.

I believe God has shown me a better understanding of what happiness is—or rather what it is not. I am not speaking of the happiness in the sense of momentary pleasure—that, to me, is easily defined. No, I am speaking of the happiness in the sense of a general state of mental being. That is, to have a healthy physiological state. However, I understand this general state is truly not possible—life has its hardship in every season, which takes the toll on the mind. To me, it is possible to maintain a healthy state of mental happiness despite troubling circumstances. Some may call the happiness I am speaking of joy. I would rather leave the term joy to the fulfillment of God from his revelation and love. Do misunderstand me, I believe that to truly live in this life one must see the Joy of the Lord. However, the happiness I am speaking of is more psychological or a form of social science. Again, however, I believe one should never fully separate our psychology from our spirituality (union with God)—His Word, after all, inspired this new definition of happiness of mine. One must know though, if we did not have a relationship with God (Imago Dei) then we would not know what any of these virtues/values were for God is the perfection of all virtues/values (and so much more). What I mean to say, if we were not made in the image of God then we would not know what happiness is for He is the truest sense of happiness—He is the clearest picture of happiness. We must have Him first in order to understand any second. I digress, and that is a whole other topic. So, the happiness I am speaking of has to do more with the health of the mind rather than our emotional state or even our spirituality despite how much they affect one another. The difference between the happiness I am speaking about and joy is, the happiness of the mental state is peace of mind and joy is peace of soul.

I had a bad philosophy on what happiness should look like. I believed happiness was wholly sacrificial. I use to believe that if everyone sacrificed his or her happiness for another then everyone would be happy—simply because everyone’s aiming at making another (individual or group) happy. In other words: if A solely acted to make B wholly happy and B solely acted to make A wholly happy—then all would be well and equal. I was shown this is not so. If everyone was sacrificial of their own happiness always just to make another smile then, actually, no one would be truly happy. Each person would be trying to supply another and become drained, without looking to themselves. As I know, no person can make another fully happy. To try and make someone else happy at the complete expense of one’s own happiness and other doing the very same, would be like two dead batteries trying to energize one another. One could ask the question though, “what if both parties find happiness in commonalities, what if they find happiness in the activity of serving one another?” I do not mean to address the fulfilling activities that do make us happy, but rather I am talking about the mental or physical act of completely allowing one’s happiness to be determined by another party’s level of happiness, whether individual or multiple. However, how can I argue “lay down your life for your brother.” or “deny yourself”? But one must also look to the second greatest commandment from Jesus’ mouth “love your neighbor as yourself.” So, I believe the burden of the argument lies more the one who says “you must sacrifice your happiness for others daily”.

I do full-heartedly believe one ought to act in a degree of healthy self-interest, as bad as that might sound. Let me redefine the word self-interest before anyone should come to judge what it may mean. To me, self-interest could somewhat be a synonym of self-love, which does not nearly sound as narcissistic or selfish. There is, however, a difference between the manipulated version of self-love and true/healthy self-love. First to identify the difference, one must know it is the degree of self-love or self-interest that matters most. If one has too much self-love then that is an overbearing narcissism and if one has too much self-interest then that it is pure selfishness. This, of course, can be applied to the most basic form of happiness—happiness from pleasure. If one enjoys wine or food but over consumes one, then we either have a drunkard or glutton. If one enjoys technology or the outdoors but gives no time for anything or anyone else, then we either have a shut-in or isolationist, both of which, to me at least, cannot do much good. It is all about the degree to which a person applies to that appetite or self-interest. Second, it also matters when and where is this degree of self-interest acted out. There are indeed situations I cannot deny that require self-sacrifice, from the simplest of examples, like giving food to another who lacks it, to the most dramatic, like sacrificing one’s life for the sake of another. However, I am speaking on a day to day basis of how one acts in accordance with their mental state—not situations which indeed require a sacrifice of pleasure or a mental state of happiness. One could ask, “But where can this theory of mental happiness be applied then?” Thirdly, if this theory of happiness can be applied anywhere, it can be applied in the state of romantic love for another.

If there is any reflection to be taken from this, it should be this—Jesus sacrificed all three happys for us when facing the cross. He obviously faced tremendous pain and unless he found some weird pleasure from that—which I am certain he did not—then one can surely say his happiness of pleasure was taken from him. Jesus also, and this may be hard to prove, also lost his mental state of happiness when faced with the burden of the cross. From his mouth, he said, “if it may be done, may this cup be taken from me...”. It may be said that his mental mind was preparing for the physical and mental toll. It was also said of him that Jesus wept bitterly in the garden of Gethsemane—so I am going to assume he was in a general sense of sadness. Therefore, I also believe I can conclude his mental state of happiness was diminished during the time of the crucifixion. His spirit, on the other hand, was preparing for the spiritual desert he was going to have to cross. But, before I move onto whether Jesus lost the third happiness, I must define it.

It is contradiction itself to have the third happiness be called a form of a happiness, for the third happiness does not have to do much with being happy. Joy is neither fully associated with or dependent upon happiness. One can be completely happy in Joyfulness. However, one does not need to be happy in order to be joyful. The word joyful belongs to more of a spiritual realm than either a psychological or physical dimension. The reason I came to this conclusion is mostly that of Paul and David. I look back to both of their lives to see this Joy. Do I believe David was prompted to dance and worship in the presence of the Lord regardless of his life circumstances because he was simply happy? Would a king be happy to lose his own kingdom? Would a father be happy when his own son is trying to kill him? —No. Do I believe Paul was happy when being persecuted for his faith? Do I believe he smiled with glee as he knew many Christians, including himself, would die for their faith in Christ Jesus? —No. I believe both of these men were tormented many times in their life and were deeply saddened by the storms. However, how is that David did worship and dance before the Lord during these times? How is that Paul praised God with his lips and prayers regardless of the death that was so clearly foreshadowed? It was not either a happiness of pleasure or some mental state of happiness that drew these men to peace. It was Joy. This Joy is beyond measure and brings peace regardless of any future, for this Joy comes from many things (all things from God), but one of those things is knowing that God has the past, present, and future in his hands. There is also the Joy of receiving the good news of the gospel—the good news of Christ. To have vicarious atonement, to have a redeemer who died on our behalf and rose again to right all wrongs once and for all, is, to me, the most beautiful truth. This is what brings me Joy. I believe this is what brought David and Paul Joy. Let me just say for a moment if God is Joy, and we can have a relationship with him, then getting closer to God would make one feel more joyful, correct? Then getting to know Jesus Christ, who is God, would bring Joy then. To me, Joy springs forth, or rather pours out, from God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

So, do I believe Joy was taken from Jesus during the crucifixion? Yes, to some degree. Do not misunderstand me when I say he had separation from the Joy, who I said was God was the spring of Joy, that I meant he was taken from the Trinity. No, to me, the Trinity has always been, being, and will be. What I am saying though is, Jesus was, when hanging on the cross for our sins, had the Joy of the Lord taken from him and sin come in its place. When he yelled “Father, Father why have you forsaken me?” this, to me, is his deepest depths crying out for the Joy that he had once held and sprung forth from the relationship between the Trinity. This was the of the Joy of Lord leaving Christ because of the sin that was placed on him. That is why this torment was so horrendous. God, our savior, our creator, most perfect, suffered many of the worst horrible tortures but to undergo the taking of the Joy of the Lord, that was once held in perfection, must have been more painful than any pain I or anyone could conjure. I would have to dive deeper into the relationship of the Trinity which I am currently unequipped to do so—so I will stop here.

Again, the main point to be taken from this is that Jesus suffered the taking of all three happys. We, as Christians, should reflect on this. We should understand, as much as we humanly can, the pain of Christ and therefore know the love he has for us. For why would a God come down and suffer under the hands that he had created? Why would he be slain for the sins of those who had rebelled against him since the beginning? What other reason should there be except love? This truth—this truth makes me pretty happy.

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5 Things To Do When Your Professors Challenge Your Beliefs As A Christian

As long as you know God is FOR you, it doesn't matter who is AGAINST you.

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Being a Christian in our world today is very, very challenging. There are many misconceptions about our beliefs and our morals, as well as people who believe we don't practice what we preach.

As a college student, I've come across many professors who enjoy challenging my beliefs due to the "lack of evidence" or the "impossibility" of the circumstances. While it frustrates me to no end, I've had to learn that arguing and debating with people who don't believe in God is pointless. They aren't going to change their mind and there's no way a college student is going to change that.

Arguing will get you nowhere, people are going to believe what they want to believe and we can't change that. Instead of trying to debate with your professors, do these five things instead. I assure you, you'll get much more out of them than an argument.

1. Pray

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Pray to God to help you and your belief remain strong, but also pray that the Holy Spirit finds them and touches their heart. A heart that isn't filled with God is an awfully sad one.

2. Acknowledge that people don't always agree with your beliefs

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If someone tried to convince you that God isn't real, you're not going to listen to their points or anything else that they have to say. Acknowledge that people think differently and sometimes you can't change that. Only God can.

3. Drop the class

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This is really a last resort, but it's also understandable. I would hate to have to sit in a class where I felt personally attacked for over an hour each day. If you find yourself in this position, get OUT.

4. When things get too difficult-- bathroom break

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Sometimes all you really need is a breather. When the lecture gets too tough, ask to go to the bathroom, get some water, and say a prayer.

5. Read your Bible

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This is the most important one. Your bible has all of the answers, no matter the circumstance. If you find yourself unable to cope with the challenges the professor presents to you, open the bible and start reading. God will fill your heart and put your mind at ease.

It's hard enough feeling out of place in today's society, just because of your beliefs. Then to have someone constantly challenging everything you base your life off of? That's even more difficult!

But instead of arguing, choose one of these five things to do. It will be a much better use of your time and you'll feel much better about it than you would by arguing with someone.

Who knows, maybe one day God will touch their heart and things will be different. God's pretty powerful and can change things in an instant. Trust him.

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Dear Christians, Think Twice Before You Invite A Non-Christian To Your Church

It's important to be sensitive to the many faiths people around you adhere to.

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Christians,

I understand you sharing verses from the Bible comes from good intentions.

I understand you explaining to me the teachings of Jesus comes from good intentions.

I understand you inviting me to your church comes from good intentions.

The issue is that not everybody is as tolerant of your evangelical mission. In fact, many may see it as outright offensive.

"How dare you try to push your religious beliefs on me?"

"I don't appreciate your attempts to convert me."

"I'm satisfied with my own religion, thanks."

The above are just some responses you might unfortunately get, but it is important to understand why that's the case.

Christianity is, by all means, the most popular religion on the planet with followers from all corners of the globe.

With your faith having such a large following, people may see your mission to spread God's word as rather selfish — an attack, even, to not consider their faith.

Receiving this kind of response from someone when you meant only the best for them can occur with even the simplest actions — you can try inviting someone to your church and still end up making them uncomfortable.

I can admit there was one point in time I was in such a situation where my neighbor asked me to attend her church for Easter when she knew I was a Hindu. I was taken aback by her invitation. Religion was not something I considered to be a "show and tell" where you share it with others without them asking. I am glad to educate people about Hinduism, but only if they ask and are genuinely interested, otherwise I don't try and bring it up and teach it to others in case they become uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, Hinduism is one of the most liberal and tolerant religions out there. Hindus are allowed to visit other houses of worship, accept beliefs from other religions, and accept the fact that there are multiple supreme beings; there is no limit to how Hindus reach salvation.

I wasn't offended by her Christianity, but rather her disregard of how someone from a different faith may interpret her invitation.

I politely declined her invitation because at the time it did make me uncomfortable and I didn't understand her intentions. I have had moments in my life where I was encouraged to convert to Christianity, even offered money, which made me wary of the intentions of Christians around me who were very open about their religion.

Today, as a Hindu attending a private Christian university, I have had the opportunity to interact with Christians and understand why they like to promote their faith. It took quite some time and experience to educate myself about this, and I better understand where Christians come from when they talk about religion, but not everybody is so accommodating.

It is very important to understand that your beliefs are just that — beliefs. Beliefs are subjective and not everybody is going to agree with them or respect them.

You may have been taught to "go make disciples of all the nations," and you don't get to pick and choose which teachings of Jesus to follow, but understand that you assuming you're helping someone follow "the right path" may actually be pushing them away.

We appreciate your genuine care for us and your good intentions behind promoting your faith, but please be sensitive to how you talk about religion — even if it is inviting someone to your church.

Sincerely,

Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Atheists, and other non-Christian belief systems.

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