Why is it some of the most depressed people in the world are Christians? David Murray takes a very in depth look at some of the reasons why this is so. Christians should be the happiest people in the world not the saddest! David shows us how that is possible in a world full of doom , gloom & guilt. I will share with you highlights of the book in my own commentary. I will share chapter by chapter.
1. Happy Facts
Facts > Feelings = Positive
An example David uses of this equation is imagine your sitting in a traffic jam late for a meeting. A car has broken down ahead causing the jam possibly. Your really upset. The fact is your stuck in a traffic jam but there is nothing you can change about that fact. But what you can change is how your looking at it. You could use that time to fellowship with God. You could pray. You could use that time to go over with God what you need to remember for your meeting. It may be the extra time you needed to relax! Think positive instead of negative when the facts are what they are. You can't change them but you can change your perspective. Thank the Lord it may of saved you from an unforeseen wreck you could of been in down the road.
2. Happy Media
Good News > Bad News = Positive
This chapter 2 dove deep into all the negative media we have all around us and why people are drawn to it. People tend to focus more on the negative than the positive. It is good to know what is going on in the world but a great way to ward off feeling so down is to focus on all the good going on around us. Do not spend to much time listening to negative news. Seek out the good news! Remember all the good things Jesus has done for us too! When focusing on GOOD thoughts it is hard to get down. It will help to reduce stress too.
Done > Do = Positive
Guilt. That is a big ugly word. Guilt ways us down even a lot of Christians. Have you ever did a good deed out of guilt for God? I know I have A LOT in the past. Why because even thought I knew he saved me by his blood I do not at times feel good enough to deserve his gift of grace. So a lot of us get caught up in doing for God out of guilt instead of out of pure love for him and gratitude. Somewhere in the back of our minds we do stuff to try and earn his love. But we forget it was all finished on the cross. It is done. There is NOTHING we can do to earn his love. There is nothing we can do further to earn a way into heaven other than believe in Jesus Christ's redeeming blood for ourselves and receive it! We need do nothing more. It is done. We should simply DO for God out of love never out of guilt to earn a way into his heart. It is finished. It is all DONE all the work that needs to be done! His grace is GRACE. David points out at the end of each day say out loud it is done. There is nothing more I can do no matter what you did that day because we all fall sort!
Christ > Christians+ Positive
David dives deep into the subject of hypocrisy in this chapter. We all fall short. Why is it we tend to always look at the failures first of others rather than focus more on their successes and praise the Lord for it? If you see a broken Christian there is still remnants somewhere in them of Christs reconstructing work if Jesus lives in them. Find the good in people. We are to build each other up not tear each other down. Remember it is DONE Christ did it all. Focus more on Christ than others falling short!
5. Happy Future
Future > Past = Positive
I will talk about the word guilt again. This chapter was so good for me. It examines the heart. Something that brings a lot of people down is the past. Yes we have all made mistakes in the past. We should remember the lessons we learned from them but we are not to dwell in the past. We are to look to the future. We should remember the good things of the past more if we think of the past at all. We should remember all the good things God has done for you. Remember all the good things he did in the Bible the amazing miracles & signs too! Think on good things but think more future minded. We all made in his image. We are all a work in progress heading to better not broken! Think of a great future & a great now do not hang out in a depressing past that will weight your heart down if you have a broken past. Remember it is DONE. What you will be in far more important that what you where!
6. Happy World
Everywhere Grace > Everywhere Sin = Positive
Ok we all know sin is all around us. We are sinners to and of course make mistakes. But this world could be a lot worst than it is. Gods common grace is everywhere! There is bad happening, yes. But God's goodness is happening MORE we just mostly do not look for it. Even unsaved people do good at times and show some kindness at some point. ALL good comes from God. All people are made in HIS image. There is some common grace ( which is different from his salvation grace) that exists in the world all around us. See Satan is the author of pain & TOTAL misery. In Satan's kingdom below there is no rest, no fun, no relaxing, no laughter, no beauty,no kindness & the list goes on. So when your out and about in the world look for even the smallest of good things! You will begin to see all the good big & small in all people.
7. Happy Praise
Praise > Criticism = Positive
Studies have shown ( the book will go more in depth on this) that people get more successful changes from people with praise more then with criticism. The math should weigh more praise from someone than pointing out their weakness. Let the Holy Spirit do his job of changing hearts meanwhile build people up including yourself and stop tearing down!
8. Happy Giving
Giving > Getting = Positive
I loved this chapter as it really dives deep into the subject of giving. It is so true that is truly more blessed to give than to receive! Studies have even been done on people's happiness on who is happier those giving in the test or getting. The ones giving came out the long term happiest! Go figure :-)
Work > Play = Positive
Did you know God loves work? He worked & works daily! He created which takes work. There should be a work life balance. A time for all of us to work & a time for rest. Play time does not come before work. If you have a proper work life balance it will be a positive experience. Most of us are not in a minister or missionary position. Yet we are all in a holy calling. Your work is your calling. If your a teacher be the best teacher unto the Lord. If your a stay at home mom be the best you can be unto the Lord. No matter your job & we all have one of some sorts even if it is to wash dishes , Wash dishes for the Lord! Take pleasure in your work. But if you say all I am is a dish washer. Remember most of Jesus life he was a carpenter. He Jesus I am sure gave God pleasure in his work.
10. Happy Differences
Diversity > Uniformity = Positive
We will experience a sample of God's kingdom in the future if you lay down any prejudices now. Prejudice can be in many forms. Classes, jobs,color,regions,religions you name it. Open your heart to not be prejudice on any level to experience & learn more joy in God's kingdom here on earth in his body NOW!
In conclusion I could not go anywhere without bringing this book with me while I was reading it. At first I thought I would be bored with it but o how I was wrong. This book captivated me, boosted me to the next level in my walk with Abba God that I was not expecting. It goes deep into a lot of issues we may not even realize or push aside. It shines such a beautiful light into the dark & equips us Biblically to walk in the joy we should have as Christians who should be the happiest people on earth!