Choose Happy

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men”

Ephesians 6:7 (NIV)



God has not called us to be the best at anything, but He has called us to give our best at everything! Mediocrity is never rewarded in scripture. Mark 12:30-31 puts it in perspective when Jesus says, “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Not only does God deserve our best, He commands it because He knows we have the ability to succeed at what He calls us to do. Remember, what God calls you too, He will see you through!

Growing up my Dad would periodically share with my brother and sisters and I that as our father he didn’t care if we won or lost in whatever we chose to do in life, but what mattered most to him and what he did care about was that we always gave whatever we started, our very best effort. He would share with us that one of the best ways to avoid regret and enjoy more happiness in life is to always do your very best. My dad made the connection between happiness and the choices each of us would make and he wasn’t even a scientist!  

I think my dad understood what behavioral scientists concluded in that happiness is always a choice. Scientists studying brain activity can see clearly that once a decision is made the mind can rest. Making decisions doctors concluded reduces worry and anxiety. Indecision is the enemy of every child of God. Most have heard the expression, “an idle mind is the devils playground” and its true. Its why the apostle Paul instructs us in Ephesians chapter 6 to put on the helmet of salvation to protect our minds from the enemies attacks and writes in Philippians 4:8 to choose what we think about, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.”
 
In 1 Kings 18 we read the famous story of the prophet Elijah confronting the 450 prophets of Baal. Elijah, knowing that their double mindedness was leading to their ultimate demise challenged the people to make a decision.1 Kings 18:21 tells us, “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word.” Here is just one example in the Bible where indecision can be a death sentence. God knows we can’t be our best or give our best in life to anything or anyone we that we approach half heartedly.  

I think James, the half brother of our Lord understood best from his own personal experiences that happiness is a choice and our choices determine the degree of happiness we enjoy in life. James 1:5-8 puts it like this, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Here is a recipe for a happy day. In choosing happiness daily make your choices prayerfully, and deliberately, seeking to love God and others wholeheartedly. Amen!

“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God,”

Psalm 146:5 (NKJV)

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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