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Habits of Happiness | Grow Healthy Relationships
Time of year where we all examine our habits and “decide” to make some new ones
- Be more fit
- Save more money
- Travel more
- Worry Less
- Spend more time with people I love
All of these things are really geared to one thing…
- trying to make us happier
That’s my question for you today…
ARE YOU HAPPY?
Two types of happiness
1 – Situational Happiness
2 – Foundational Happiness (Joy)
- As their name suggests, situational happiness is based on circumstance
- Foundational in stronger, more innate.
One depends on your circumstances, the other helps paint your circumstances
- This means that You can learn to be happy (have joy) despite your circumstances because your happiness is not based on your circumstances
This is important because our culture only teaches us Situational happiness
- That’s why we spend money on things we don’t need
- Date people, we shouldn’t be with
- Make decisions we will regret later
Because we are told happiness comes by what we have…
Here’s the Problem…
Situational happiness will always leave you wanting the next fix…
So before we go further, here are some rules for happiness…
Rule #1: Happiness is not a goal
- Result of the right way of thinking, living, acting
- If happiness is a goal, you will live self-centered, only concerned about yourself
- Making it a goal will leave you NEVER being happy (That is situational happiness
Rule #2: My habits create my happiness
- Happiness is a choice
- We shape our habits, and then they shape us
- You can create habits of happiness in your life
Rule #3: Happy habits are as addicting as bad habits but they’re a whole lot more rewarding
- Habits, good and bad, take time to develop.
- Building the right ones leads to a healthier life mentally, spiritually, physically, and relationally
This series comes from the book of Philippians
- A letter Paul wrote to the church in Philippi
- Considered a “HAPPY” letter
- Joy/happiness is mentioned 17 times in a short book
- Paul was in prison when he wrote one of the happiest/joyful books in the NT
3 I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, 4 always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 Indeed, it is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
Here’s what this passage teaches us…
Our happiness is tied to the health of our relationships with others
- Unhealthy relationships make unhappy people
- Healthy relationships make happy people
Here are new HABITS OF HAPPINESS as it relates to the people in our lives
1. BE GRATEFUL FOR THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE
Popular psychology recognizes the power of gratitude
With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, being grateful also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. ~ Harvard Medical
Paul is in prison
- Not in great circumstances
- His happiness does not come from circumstances, but gratitude
- Thankful for their support and prayers
“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you…” Philippians 1:3
Have you ever met a miserable grateful person?
Have you met a happy ungrateful one?
Start to make gratefulness a habit in your relationships
- They’ve hurt me
- I struggle trusting people
REMEMBER THE BEST AND FORGET THE REST
- Have a short term memory of wrongdoings
People will let you down
- But so will you
- Make sure you hold for yourself the same standard you hold others to
2. PRAY JOYFULLY FOR THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE
“always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer…”
When someone asks you to pray for them, do you?
- When you need someone to pray for you, you hope they do
Paul is not in a good situation
- He is the one that needs prayer
- But he is praying for them
I believe that prayer changes situations and people
- God works through prayer
Imagine how different our world would be if more people took this seriously
What should we pray?
- Paul gives some direction
Philippians 1: 9-11
“And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.”
We should pray that the people in our life…
That they grow in LOVE AND WISDOM
“…that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are superior…” vs. 9
That they live with INTEGRITY
“…(that you) may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ…” vs.10b
That they become like JESUS
“…(that you will be) filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” vs.11
Want to be happy?
Stop only praying for yourself and begin to pray for those around you
- Jesus in the garden praying for the disciples
- Joy is not found in self-centeredness
3. EXPECT THE BEST FROM THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE
6 I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
Ever heard someone say…
“I just tell it how it is.”
Maybe the truth
But we could speak to the way it could be…
Nothing fills us with more joy than seeing someone realize their potential
- Help people get there
CELEBRATE HOW FAR PEOPLE HAVE COME, RATHER THAN JUDGING HOW FAR THEY STILL HAVE TO GO
Speak life to people/over people
- everyone is on a journey
- Are you helping them or hindering them
4. LOVE THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE LIKE JESUS DOES
8 For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
There is a principle God put into place at creation
That true joy/true happiness is when we give our life away to others
- To serve
- To honor
- To love as Jesus does
1 John 3:16
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
There is no happy selfish person
- That is happiness based on temporary circumstances
So here is my question…
ARE YOU HAPPY?
If not, the first place you need to look is your relationships with others
- Our happiness is tied to the health of our relationships with others