Who doesn’t want to be happy? The right to pursue happiness is even written in the United States’ Declaration of Independence. Then there’s the popular post floating around the internet. Perhaps you’ve read it…
“Someone once said, “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.”
At first glance, it appears inspirational. After all, what’s not to like? Get rid of the drama, focus only on the people who bring happiness.
But the more I thought about each line, the more I realized there’s more to this than might first appear.
Walk away from the drama…and the people who create it:
Most of us have more than enough drama in life. And walking away from more drama sounds like the right choice. But is the answer to walk away from all the people who create it? If we’re honest, we’d have to admit that we’ve all had times when we’ve created drama in other people’s lives. Aren’t you glad they didn’t walk away from us when we caused them to experience inconvenience or suffer because of our “drama”?
Of course, we may have to restrict the amount of time we spend with those who are not emotionally healthy, but there is a difference between establishing healthy boundaries and walking away completely.
“Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble” (I Peter 3:8)
Surround yourself with people who make you laugh:
I love being around people who make me laugh, don’t you? But there’s a time for laughter and a time for more serious thoughts. I also want to be around people who challenge me to grow, to be all that God intends for me to be.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4)
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
Forget the bad, and focus on the good:
I like this one. But sometimes we need to remember the bad…to learn from it. Remember the adage, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it”?
On the flip side, when the apostle Paul spoke about forgetting the past, he was actually referring to his accomplishments—all good things! Sometimes even good things can weigh us down, causing us to become complacent.
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t:
We can love even those who don’t treat us right and still keep healthy boundaries.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” (Matthew 5:43-47).
Life is too short to be anything but happy:
It’s been said that God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness, with our character than our comfort. Without sorrow, how will we appreciate joy? Without pain, how will we experience empathy? Without suffering, how will we ever be able to give comfort?
“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4).
Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living:
So true! We all experience failure, but our failures are not permanent. Still, if we don’t want our own failures to be viewed as permanent, how can we view the failures of others as permanent? We come to God multiple times for forgiveness, and we must be willing to offer forgiveness to others just as many times.
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:21-22).
Don’t worry. Be Happy. But not necessarily all the time. 😉