Surfing Instagram the other day I came across a PragerU video. This is not too uncommon for me. I like their videos and find their content interesting and well put together (even if I don’t agree with it). This video was of a man probably about my age (30s?) who was interviewing college kids on campus. He was only asking each kid/group of kids 3 questions. 1 Are you happy. 2 Do you believe in God. 3 Do you think religion could bring anything to your life.
Several of them answered no or something to the effect of “I guess kinda” and when he would ask the second question they would say No again or “I believe it’s possible but I don’t know of one.” Type of answer. And as you can guess those same people shot down religion as well. Towards the end of the video he starts showing the Christian response and it was Always all yes directly. There was no stuttering or wondering if they were happy or believed in God. On the last guy he asked something of the effect of “Why are you happy and why do you believe in God” which got me thinking, Why are Christians so happy? To sum up the kids response, its because Jesus died for us.
I have been listening to a lot of audio books and this one “goodbye, things” by Fumio Sasaki was an interesting read. It is about a Japanese man that had turned to minimalism (living with the least amount of things he needed) and that it was making him happier. This is counter to what society is telling us with adds, TV, and social pressures but he found that he was happier living a simpler life. While him and I do not likely have a whole lot in common, it got me thinking a about a few things.
First of all, I feel like Jesus the ultimate minimalist. He only had exactly what he needed at all times. Nothing more and nothing less. I honestly believe that he knew this was the best way to live and this is why he called on us to live this way. In Luke 18:18 we see Jesus tell a rich man to follow the 10 commandments and when the man has he says to give away all his things and follow him because “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” If you are hanging on to lots of stuff you don’t need (no judgement here I know I am) you will have a harder time finding God in your life, not an easier one.
The second thing that really got my attention was that Mr Sasaki said that Minimalism made you more grateful for the things you did have. When you have so much stuff that there are things you don’t pay attention too anymore, you are no longer grateful for those things. Reducing the number of things, you have makes it so that you are grateful for each thing you do have. Giving to others who need it makes those people grateful. He said that he believed that gratefulness was directly tied to happiness.
So Why Are Christians So Happy?
Coming across these 2 things less than a week apart really got me thinking about how closely the two were related. As Christians we should be living like minimalists. Giving everything we have to God. I am not talking about giving your stuff to a church, I am talking about giving God your love and trust. Trust in him and let your worries go. He is happy to take them. Giving them away will make you happy.
As Christians it’s not all about giving. We are also extremely grateful. Grateful for all of the things we have in our life, even the things we don’t need. Grateful for our loved ones for the time that we have them. Grateful for our creation. Most of all, we are grateful that God sent his son Jesus to save us and take away our sin. God gave us the biggest gift and it was something that we could never get on our own. It was something we did nothing for and don’t deserve and it was the hardest gift for him to give. Why are Christians so happy? Thinking about it, I really honestly think that this is what makes us Christians so happy. We are grateful.