Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You are responsible for your own happiness.”
As we’ve been following our friend David on his adventures through time in the book “The Traveler’s Gift”, we read about him having brief encounters with actual historical figures. In each case he is taught an important life principle which, if he implements it, will have a profound positive influence on his life.
On his fifth stop in history David finds himself with the young Jewish girl Anne Frank, hiding from the Nazis in secret rooms in a building in Amsterdam during World War II. For three years Anne and her family lived a secret life confined to small rooms in an office building where her father had worked. And yet, despite living in such confined surroundings for such a long time, hiding from those who would take her to a concentration camp if they found her, Anne was a bright, happy, perky teenage girl who was a pleasure to be with. (Her story is recorded in the famous book “The Diary of Anne Frank”).
When David marvels at Anne’s positive and happy attitude despite her terrible circumstances, she tells him that happiness is a choice and we are all responsible for our own happiness. Here’s a summary of the life lesson David learned from his encounter with her:
“Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy. I can choose to think thoughts and engage in activities that bring me joy. I choose to be happy. I choose to be grateful and I choose not to complain. I smile at people. People are drawn to me because I have joy in my heart, a smile on my face, and laughter in my voice. Life itself is a privilege. I choose to live it with joy and to the fullest. I do not deny the reality of my situation, but I do deny the finality of it. This too shall pass. I choose to be happy.”
In Nehemiah 8:10 we’re told that the joy of the Lord is our strength. In other words, when we look to the Lord for our joy, instead of to our circumstances, it makes us strong and gives us the ability to look difficulties in the face and smile. In Galatians 5:22 the Apostle Paul taught us that this joy is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Joy is something the Spirit develops in our lives as we grow in our relationship with Christ and become more spiritually mature.
You are responsible for your own happiness. It’s all a matter of how you think and the source you’re looking to for your joy and happiness.