Our Bible verse for today: “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, ‘The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Choose to be happy”
Have you ever known a person who seems to be an expert at finding something wrong with everything? If you say it’s a beautiful sunny day, they’ll point to the one dark cloud in an otherwise clear sky. If you tell them they look nice today, they’ll respond by saying they recently put on five pounds. If you tell them the glass if half full, they’ll tell you that it’s also half empty. Do you remember “Eeyore” the donkey from the Winnie-the-Pooh books? Winnie was always upbeat and positive but Eeyore was always pessimistic, gloomy, and depressed. No matter how good things are, Eeyore finds something wrong. We all have encounters with the Eeyores in life, and they’re not fun to be around.
I saw a cartoon recently of two women talking. One was babbling on and on. We the readers get the conversation in midstream, “… and then I caught the flu, the house burned down, our car was stolen, George had to have an operation, the cat got the flu …” The other woman, looking trapped, is thinking to herself “Dear Lord just take me now!” You’ve been in that situation. You’re trapped in a conversation with a narcissist who drones on and on about all her misfortunes (real and imagined) and there seems to be no way out for you. So you’re thinking “Just shoot me now!”
Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said that “Most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” That’s a great truth. You can choose to see the glass half full instead of half empty. You can choose to see the sunshine rather than the cloud. You can choose to thank God for what you have rather than complain about the things you don’t have.
In the book of Lamentations Jerusalem had been completely destroyed and was in ruins. The people had been taken into captivity and the situation seemed hopeless. In the middle of the destruction and desolation the prophet Jeremiah uttered that wonderful statement of faith and praise that we just read in 3:22-24 above. He found reasons to praise God and to trust Him. I encourage you to read it again now.
In my Bible I keep a typed list of positive affirmations which I review frequently and which help me to maintain a proper perspective in life. One of them pertains to choosing happiness over despair. It reads “I choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. I can choose to think thoughts and engage in activities that bring me joy. I choose to be grateful, and I choose not to complain. I have joy in my heart, a smile on my face, and laughter in my voice. Life is a privilege. I choose to live it with joy.”
How about you? Do you choose to live with joy? Do you laugh easily and often? I hesitate to hold Winnie-the-Pooh up as a model to emulate. Winnie has serious weight control issues and his fingers are always sticky with honey. But if the choice in your life is between Winnie or Eeyore, be Winnie my friends, be Winnie.