By Rex Robinson
May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him – his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families. Psalm 68:3-5 Pharrell William has a hit song where he repeatedly sings, “I’m happy!” Phil Robertson frequently says, “Happy, happy, happy!” describing how he feels. But why are people happy? Who are the happy people in this world?
According to a recently edited, long-term study that was conducted by Harvard University, happy people are not the people with lots of money or things. The happy people are not the athletes with fortune and fame. The happy people are not the people who have hit songs, or hit TV shows.
The happiest people in the United States are the people who have invested in relationships. This study states, “Turns out, there was one — and only one — characteristic that distinguished the happiest 10 percent from everybody else: the strength of their social relationships.” It goes on to advise, “If you do one thing today to be happier, spend time with friends. The only thing that matters in life is relationships.”
Strong relationships make you healthier, wealthier and wiser. That’s not just a catch phrase. Strong relationships make you happy! But God has known this for a long time. He created us to have meaningful connections with others. And He created us to have a meaningful connection with Him. We are told that Jesus wants to call us friend. That is the main thing that makes us happy.
If you find yourself with a case of the doldrums, the answer is not…”If only I had more money or more time or more energy. Happiness results first and foremost from developing a personal relationship with Jesus. Secondly, our happiness is increased when we learn to grow in healthy relationships with those around us. Spend time connecting—with God and with others…Be happy!
Rex Robinson is the Co-Director of the Marriage Resource Center, Greene County.