Vol.XVII No.VI Pg.8
August 1980

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Only the immature think happiness is found in things possessed; experience teaches us that happiness is a frame of mind — the way we look at things, and at ourselves. But how can we gain the desired frame of mind?

A little boy came into the kitchen where his mother was preparing a meal and asked, "Mom, why do we always have hamburger? Johnny's mother cooks meat in big pieces, with bone in the middle." Mother answered', "Son, don't talk about people who can't afford to have their meat ground. You'll make them feel badly."

That may suffice, for the time, but is happiness just the art of kidding ourselves? To some the art of positive thinking is no more than a trick one pulls on himself, and on the public he uses. Believe in yourself, and it is amazing what you can accomplish. Such an attitude can contribute to happiness too, but if it is only a cloak we wear when we are selling, it will wear thin in time.

In Proverbs three, happiness and a God-centered wisdom are linked together in advice worth your while. Do you want length of days and years? With peace? Forget not God's law and let your heart keep His commands. Want friends? Let not kindness and truth, love and fidelity, forsake thee. We all need direction in life — purpose and a noble aim; and it is here for those who trust in Jehovah rather than in themselves. Health is best achieved in a clean, upright life of respect for the Lord and His ways.

And such people prosper, although material gain is an improper motive, and it can wreck the beneficial process. In fact, we are told to "despise not the chastening of Jehovah, for whom Jehovah loveth He reproveth."

Yea, Sure! It sounds like preacher talk doesn't it? But friend, our Maker is not giving us a psychological cover to wear. He is showing us how we must change ourselves — start on the inside, with a heart given to God, and fully trusting in Him. Life is bright because we are shining and are content in every state of life (Phil. 4:11-13). There is happiness in knowing why we are here, and where we are going; in our confidence that we journey toward eternal happiness.