"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase gives three examples of the "unalienable rights" which the Declaration says have been given to all humans by their Creator. A common misunderstanding about the phrase is the word “pursuit.” Some in our culture believe that personal happiness is a right, but the framers correctly worded “the pursuit of happiness.” The idea of guaranteed happiness means that it is partially the responsibility of another to make me happy. If I depend upon them then I can blame them when I am not. I relieve myself of any responsibility. A right to pursue something takes on a whole different meaning. Pursuit means that it is up to you to define and discover what happiness means to you. The framers knew that personal responsibility would be the thing that would grow our country and way of life, not dependence on government. There is something about personal achievement; knowing that you provided something for yourself. In the end, it is not the thing that you provided that brings you happiness; the real reward is recognizing that it was your efforts that led to the accomplishment.
The results of a new study prove this to be true. When asked about happiness, 89% of people think that happiness can be controlled. In other words, most people know that if you want happiness you have to pursue it! The findings held true for both men and women. A person’s age had a significant influence on the average respondent. The amount of control we have over our happiness decreases in our mid-life and increases as we grow older again. In general, happiness decreases from age 18 and reaches a peak unhappiness at approximately age 47. From there, the happiness levels gradually increase again. If you fall within this range, in general, you know this to be true. College life hits, responsibilities increase, life happens and the pursuit of happiness gets harder. After we have lived a little and gain a greater understanding of life, we finally begin to understand how to enjoy it. https://www.trackinghappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Tracking-Happiness-Survey-General-overview-1.pdf
One of the biggest deterrents of happiness is worry. In our younger days we have lots more to worry about. As we mature, the problems are still there, but we accept the fact that there are things we just can’t change. There is no sense in worrying about them. Jesus spent time talking about this. He told us that He came so that we might have a more abundant life. In other words, enjoy life more! When we worry there is little margin for happiness. When we address the issues we can do something about we feel a sense of pride in our accomplishment. When we allow God to handle the things we can do nothing about we adopt of sense of peace. Personal accomplishment and a lasting peace are two things every individual wants for themselves. The founders of our nation recognized that, but the Creator of the universe made it possible.
Pray about the things that have you worried and are stealing your happiness. Write them down and do all that you can to check them off your list. The ones that remain are left there for God to take care of! You do your part and leave the rest up to Him!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Serving the Savior,
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