The Discipline of Happiness

What is a “Discipline?” This word has several meanings, it can be used as a noun or a verb, and it is often defined by the larger context when used in a phrase or sentence. The use of it in this devotional is along the lines of dictionary.com’s 11th definition (there are 12 definitions listed!):

“to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control”

What is “Happiness?” Happiness, joy, and rejoicing are usually thought of as spontaneous expressions of heart-felt emotions, but they are much more. They are also deliberate expressions of heart-embraced truth. Most of the Feasts in the Laws of the Old Testament commanded the people to “Rejoice in the Lord,” a deliberate act of rejoicing that was based upon their recognition of a particular truth about God and His provisions.

Jesus told the parable of a woman who asked others to help her rejoice:

“… suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she… search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together… ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’”

‭~ Luke‬ ‭15:8-9‬

Happiness (joy, rejoicing) doesn’t have to come only from spontaneous emotions. We can exercise happiness through a deliberate recognition of the goodness of God in our lives. When the scripture says “Rejoice in the Lord,” it is a self-disciplined pattern or lifestyle.

Being happy on the outside is not being phony or fake. It is a self-discipline with a greater objective: to help guide our daily walk in conscious and deliberate agreement with the truths of God that truly do lead to times of spontaneous expressions of happy emotions.

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#PastorsTip #Luke15 #Discipline #SelfDiscipline #Happy #Happiness #Joy #Rejoice
#FeastsOfGod

Customer Service in Family Relationships

My wife is a real customer service professional. She has managed restaurants, worked for school administrations, worked in churches, and for about fifteen years now has worked for city governments, with great effectiveness serving the citizens with kindness, patience, and sincere engagement. She has been a real role model for me in my own ministry as a pastor.

In looking back on the qualities of an effective customer service representative, things like serving with a happy countenance and being emotionally engaged with the customer, it dawned upon me that too many family relationships are missing the benefits and blessings of a simple “customer service professionalism” in their relating with one another.

What if every family would be nurtured and blessed by their treating one another with the same heart-qualities of a Customer Service Professional? The scripture admonishes us to do this, but does so by using a different wording:

“… dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… and be thankful.”

‭‭~ Colossians‬ ‭3:12-15‬

While the use of the term “professionalism” might sound cold or insincere, consider the “cold” and “insincere” words, attitudes, and actions that are making so many families miserable. If they will raise the quality of their family “customer service” to at least that of a professional, it will grant the family breathing room to calm their hearts and to reset or reboot their relationships. Besides, there is nothing cold or insincere about basic kindness and gentle love within family relationships.

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#PastorsTip #Colossians3 #CustomerService #FamilyRelations #Kindness #Professional