“You can’t control your genetics. You aren’t in charge of the weather, the traffic, or the occupant of the White House. But you can always increase the number of smiles on our planet. . . . You — yes, you — can help people to sleep better, laugh more, hum instead of grumble, walk instead of stumble. . . . And don’t be surprised when you begin to sense a newfound joy yourself.”- Max Lucado
“In everything I (Paul) did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “- Acts 20:35 (NIV)
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 1 of How Happiness Happens as he states the theme of this book: the unexpected door to joy. Above all, Jesus of Nazareth stands at that unexpected door of joy to welcome you!
Certainly, the Pharisees, among others, accused Jesus of much. But, Pasto Lucado notes, no one described Jesus as a grump, sourpuss, or self-centered jerk. And when Jesus entered a room, people didn’t duck for cover. Because Jesus called them by name, listened to their stories, healed them, and answered their questions. Since Jesus came to give life with joy and abundance, He exuded happiness. And, He wants us to feel and reflect that joy.
In addition, Max observes, Scripture contains more than 2,700 passages that include words like joy, gladness, jubilation, and exultation. Hence, our joy level matters to God.
However, Jesus doesn’t issue a call to naivete or superficial happy talk. While Jesus spoke candidly about topics like the needs of the human heart, He spoke with hope. Also, Jesus enlists you and me as His special agents. Max concludes:
“You and I indwell a lonely planet. Broken hears populate every office building. Discouragement mummifies countless lives. The world is desperate . . . for a cavalry of kindness. We cannot solve every problem in society, but we can bring smiles to a few faces. And who knows? If you brighten your corner of the world and I do the same to mine, a quiet revolution of joy might break out.”
Today’s question: Even though you can’t control your genetics, how much blame do you tend to place there? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Encouragement – God places a premium on it”