Happiness

How do other people affect your happiness? Do you know what makes you happy?

John Ortberg has a series going on the subject. He mentioned last week quoting Dallas Willard that happiness (like the other fruits of the Spirit) is a condition, not an emotion.

Emotions come and go. If I am in a state of being happy, that is a condition that is more of a permanent part of my life.

On the same day, I heard Ortberg talk about how comparing ourselves to others is a great way to disrupt your happiness; then I read Leo Babauta talk of how social media can exacerbate the tendency to compare ourselves to others. We see people seemingly living good lives by watching their Instagram or Facebook posts. We think, they must be happy. That makes me unhappy.

Last Sunday, our pastor talked about how good it makes him feel after a service when people come up and compliment him. But, if one person criticizes, he feels bad for the week. He probably exaggerated, but it’s a true statement for all of us, right?

So, I pondered the question, how do other people affect my happiness? Or, better, why do I let other people affect my happiness.

Instead of being jealous at their success, try rejoicing with them. They may not be as happy as one Facebook photo may suggest. Maybe they need a hug.

My happiness comes from being grounded in the Spirit. But sometimes I do give people the power over my happiness. Then I recognize it and move on.

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