Saturday, April 25, 2009

How You Can Be Happy--Right Now!

If you could win an Olympic medal, which would you prefer--the silver or the bronze? A study of Olympic medal winners produced some surprising answers. You would assume that the silver medal winners would be happier than the bronze medalists since they received a higher honor, but that wasn't the case. The bronze medalists, who came in third place, were found to be happier with their performance than the silver medalists, who finished in second place.

The former Olympians explained how they felt about their medals. The third-place winners were thrilled just to have won a medal. The silver medalists, on the other hand, felt like losers because they didn't come in first place.

This just goes to show that what happens to you isn't nearly as important as how you perceive what happens to you. (Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind but Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, pp.1-2) Your happiness is being determined by how you view your current circumstances.

Although it's unlikely you'll win an Olympic medal, you do get to choose how you interpret what happens to you. Writing from a Roman prison, the apostle Paul said, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am" (Phil. 4:11). "Content" simply means to be happy no matter what your situation may be. Paul wasn't born with this attitude. He had to learn it. And so do you.

Every circumstance has something positive in it, and something negative. Contentment is an attitude of the heart that always looks for what's good in every situation. It sees God's hand overruling what evil people do and will ultimately bring a better result. It views life as a privilege rather than a right. It understands that every good thing we have is a gift from the Father. Contentment is always thankful, while discontentment always complains. Even when it wins a silver medal.
Keep looking up!