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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Gospel is about How to be Happy


Our Happy Cat
One day I told a religious church leader that the Gospel was about how to be happy in life. His eyes widened, like he saw a ghost, and he protested: "The Gospel is about how we can be saved from sins!"

I was about to tell him that the Gospel was also about being successful in life and career, but I thought I better not. He might have rebuked me like I were a demon.

Of course, the Gospel is about how people can be saved from sins. But it's not limited to that. It's about many other things. It can be about how to deal with your boss or your subordinates effectively. Or how to choose the right career for you. Or how to save money and invest to grow it exponentially. Or how to be healthy and fit. God's Word is profitable for everything because it is about LIFE. And LIFE is not just about being saved from sins. Some folks may be shocked at this, but there's actually LIFE after salvation.

And God wants that life to be happy.

In fact, another rendition of the word "blessed" in The Beatitudes is "happy." So you can read it, "Happy are the poor in spirit" Or, "Happy are the meek." "Happy are they who mourn."

God wants you to be happy after getting saved, not live the life of a cast away or monk who do nothing all day but look serious and get religious. That's a sad life to live. I cannot live that life (I think neither can Jesus). I want a life that allows me to laugh freely, go places and eat good food. And the Gospel tells me how to get them.

However, the Gospel defines "happy" only in the way God's Kingdom defines it. It's not anything we see in this world. Happiness in the world is fake. Kingdom happiness is 10 times more fun than how the world presents it. But you can only appreciate it if you have become well acquainted with Kingdom culture. For instance, Kingdom culture says being poor in spirit is the way to happiness.

In the world, you have to boast about your self and your achievements, prove yourself always correct, and prove to everyone what you're capable of. That's how you get happy here, which really bores me a lot. I don't know why you have to introduce speakers in churches by talking about their titles and degrees and achievements. The church assumes worldly standards that's why most churches are sad.

But in Kingdom culture, you just have to keep quiet and enjoy being average. Some folks may tell you how good you really are at things, but you just remain simple and average. You give back the praise to God who alone deserves it.

Watch this:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, [Philippians 2.3]
"Vain conceit" is what a lot of people cling to for happiness but it's really the number one happiness wrecker. In God's Kingdom, however, valuing others above yourself is what really makes you happy. Can you get used to that culture? If you are full of yourself, you can't. But if you want to be genuinely happy, embrace the culture of the Kingdom. Consider yourself average and others supreme. 

But don't get me wrong. See others better than yourself but never let them use that against you. People who don't deserve respect like that will abuse you. Don't let them. Kingdom culture also says, "Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Serpents or snakes always go away from the source of harm and fight back to free themselves when trapped in a corner. 

When people abuse you, you should be like a snake getting far away from the source of harm and even fighting back, not to hurt, but just to free yourself, when trapped in a corner. Remain innocent as doves by not stooping down to the level of your abuser and being like-minded or like-hearted with them. This is how you remain happy amid chaos, especially the chaos of office or church politics. 


In summary, the (only) key to happiness is to "deny the self and pick up our crosses daily" as we follow Christ. It's to live a simple life of obedience, staying out of the limelight, remaining low-profile, and living a quiet life. Always remember, in the Kingdom the least is the greatest. Just keep being the least and you'd never go wrong. Most people want to be great and are in fact so obsessed by it that they pursue it all their lives. You can never be truly happy like that, even if you have a lot of money and possessions and accolades and recognition and travel the whole world (and planet Mars) 10 times over.

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