May 8, 2013

Faith and The Myth of Happiness


In her new book, The Myth of Happiness, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, explains how our notions about what will make us happy are often wrong. 

For example, Lyubomirsky suggests it is a myth for someone to believe that, “I’ll be happy when x, y or z happens__________ (Fill in the blank).” For example, “I’ll be happy when I get a new job; I get a bigger house; My divorce is final.” According to the author, the happiness from any such accomplishments is often fleeting.

Another myth Lyubomirsky refutes is that wealth and prosperity will lead to happiness. According to economists, as our income rises, our level of happiness appears to depend on additional needs and new spending 

I have examined The Myth of Happiness carefully for references to religion, faith, worship, or God and there are none.  While the author refers often to the joy or pain we experience in relationships, Lyubomirsky never addresses the happiness that comes from having a connection to God.

Joy is a common theme in the Holy Scriptures, and Judy White, our pastor at the Bluff Point United Methodist Church, reminds us each Sunday morning of the serenity and happiness that comes from having a relationship with Christ.

Judy is also a role model for her congregation, for despite the tragic events in her own life, her spirit still sings, and she remains one of the most joy-filled persons I know. Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ has allowed her to cope with her trials and find happiness in her life. And that’s no myth!