Joy-Filled living is Healthy

This blog was first published in April.  I thought it would be appropriate during the Holiday season.

Sloth or sadness – which is worse?

A Huffington Post article, “One of the 25 Facts You Should Know (but probably don’t) About Christianity,” (1) caught me up short recently by revealing  that the original seventh deadly sin was sadness – not sloth.

This got me to thinking about why sadness might have been considered a sin.  How do we view sadness today and how does it affect our well-being?

To many people it is something that is OK; in some cases more than OK.  Being sad is usually about the loss of, or disappointment in, something.  Sadness can be easily justified and is often indulged. Then, when friends or family members show compassion, we feel better. But, I doubt, in current times, anyone goes so far as to consider it a “deadly” sin.

If sadness was once considered a deadly sin, might it stands to reason that joy – the opposite – is a life-giving blessing.  If we continuously indulge in being joyful, it must lead to living life and loving it.  I don’t know about you, but I choose joy/life.

Many articles, blogs, and self-help books have been written about how important it is to be happy, and research is bringing to light every day the benefits of joy.  “Laughter is the best medicine,” is a common phrase and was, for more than eight decades, the title of a much-loved  joke, cartoon, and funny story section in Readers’ Digest.

“With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.”  (2)

How do we maintain joy when we are facing hard times, a challenging situation, or holidays without family ?

It needs to be more than just making ourselves laugh or putting on a “happy” face.  It has to be a heartfelt desire to let go of the problem and look to God for solace, mercy and finally, joy. At a most sorrowful time, before his crucifixion, Jesus said to his disciples:  “…your joy no man taketh from you.” (3) As a follower of Jesus, this passage reminds me that I need to be sure never to let any “man” or human circumstance rob me of my joy.  It is a quality that comes from within – one we can control.  It does not come from something we get from others or outside experiences.  It comes from within ourselves.

A favorite poem of mine and which we sing at church is often the first thing that comes to thought when I feel sadness or longing coming on.

“I walk with Love along the way

And O, it is holy day;

No more I suffer cruel fear,

I feel God’s presence with me here;

The joy that none can take away

Is mine; I walk with Love today.” (4)

I have found these ideas to be practical in my life.  They help me pray my way through sad situations and encourage me not to give up until I am no longer “down in the dumps.”

 

1)  Huffington Post, Religion Brief, April 17, 2012, George Courtauld

2)  healthguide.org  Paul E. McGhee, PhD http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

3)  John 16:22

4)  Minny M.H. Ayers, Christian Science Hymnal, Page 139

Artwork uploaded from Google Images

Kate blogs about health, spirituality, Christian Science, science, the importance of prayer and religion.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland.  She and her husband enjoy hiking, especially with Callie, a Blue Heeler, and riding motorcycles. 

 

 


3 Comments

  1. God’s love for us is manifested in SO many ways:
    Through friends, family, spouses, checkout lines, teller windows, sporting events, business, occupation, church, traveling, pets, whatever the opportunity for good interaction; also, through texting, e mailing, social media, phone, video, Skyping, writing, reading, Internet, whatever technology affords us; and then there is our alone time with God, through prayer, yearning, and dialogue (mine is mostly at 4 am), whereby we discover that we are NEVER alone!

    How can we be sad when we find out that “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind,” as Mrs Eddy says!? She also says, “Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. “It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.”

    Divine Love can never not reach us, for we are divine Love’s very outlet to each other, to the universe!

    I say with our dear Master, “Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” (John)

    Our God is Love, therefore, anything sad is not from God, and is not true, we need only to look around to see this evidence everywhere..as the hymn says, it cannot be taken away.

    • Thank you, Steve< for your most welcome comments. Choosing joy over sadness is truly a "happiness that is born of Truth and Love." And, we can't help but share it with all those that enter our experience on any given day. Kate