We are often told Christians are supposed to be "happy."
In fact, we are supposed to radiate joy, peace, and contentment that is so unmistakable and so attractive that others are naturally drawn to us because they want what we have.
And yet, in today's culture, the vast majority of Christians are perceived as angry, judgmental people who don't seem to derive any joy from life whatsoever. So, why aren't more Christians happy, especially when we have everything that money can buy? Listen for the answers in this very interesting discussion.
Randy Alcorn ► http://epm.org
This is an excerpt from the Follow the Money Weekly podcast hosted each week by Christian economist and author, Jerry Robinson.
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Jerry Robinson, Host: Every person listening to the sound of my voice is nearing their own personal day of reckoning. One day, our time on earth will come to an end, and we will be ushered into the hereafter. According to the Bible, that day will include a reckoning of not only what we spent our lives in pursuit of, but also how we utilized and stewarded our gifts, talents, and resources, including our finances. My next guest says that how we use money during our lives says more about our core values than we may realize. His name is Randy Alcorn. He’s a friend of the show and a popular author of several faith-based financial books that help readers understand a scriptural view of money and eternity. Randy, it’s great to have you back on Follow the Money Radio.
Randy Alcorn: It’s a pleasure to be with you.
JR: Your latest book simply entitled “Happiness”, it’s a compelling book and somewhat of a deceptive title because as you get into it, it’s about a 500 page book. You really delve deep into the theological underpinnings of the concept of happiness and joy, and all of these different words that we read when we open the Bible. In it, you provide scriptural evidence that Christians are supposed to be happy. In fact, we’re supposed to, as the book cover suggests, radiate joy, peace, and contentment so that it’s unmistakable and so attractive that others are naturally drawn to us because they want what we have. And, yet, in today’s culture, the vast majority of Christians are perceived as angry, judgemental people who don’t seem to derive any joy from life whatsoever. Randy, what did you learn from your research for this book. Why aren’t Christians, why aren’t we happy?
RA: Well, I think we’re not happy as Christians often because our expectations of life are skewed. We believe the message that’s out there that if you really follow Jesus, all will be well, the health and wealth gospel, God will watch over you. God becomes almost like a personal genie to you to fulfill your wishes which are referred to as prayers. Whatever you pray for, you are going to get. All you have to do is have enough faith, and then pretty soon, it’s not faith in God, but faith in your faith. And, it’s convincing yourself by repeating certain slogans and using scripture as if it was a mantra rather than the revealed Word of God. So, I think expectations are a part of it. Biblically, our worldview is ultimately very optimistic. It doesn’t view the glass as half empty. It views it as half full, but with the promise that one day it will be fully full, and, in fact, overflowing for all eternity. Now, that is very optimistic. But, you’ve got to realize, you’ve got to recognize that the glass which is half full is indeed half empty, and the reason it’s half empty is because of the fall. It’s because of sin, because of the curse. So I think the reason why a lot of people aren’t happy is because they have unrealistic expectations. And, then, it’s compounded in the Church, the body of Christ, because we’ve actually been told that we’re not supposed to be happy. We’re told that the world has this thing called “happiness”, and it’s shallow, it’s superficial, it’s what you have at a ballgame, at a BBQ, when your circumstances are going well for you.
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