Want a good laugh? Here’s one. The United Nations (U.N.) has published its first “World Happiness Report.” Yes, within 158 pages the U.N. has “measured” citizens’ happiness levels and then ranked their respective nations. The U.N. ranked the United States 11th in the world. Apparently, Americans are only mildly happy. But, how sound can the U.N.’s study be? If it’s sunny in Denmark and raining in Thailand on the days of the study, where would you be happier? The U.N.’s report is outlandish, but sadly, today’s secular culture measures happiness in terms of external factors that inevitably leave people unfulfilled.
Consider how today’s women are told to measure happiness: career status, material possessions, and independence from men. Yet, these goals consistently leave women feeling disappointed. On the cusp of the 1960’s, women were told that sexual liberation would make them happier. Despite advances in sexual promiscuity, education, and career status, a recent study shows that women’s happiness has declined in the past 35 years. Why? Happiness was based on superficial goals and falsehoods.
Not much has changed in recent years. At the start of the Obama Administration, women were told they would be happier with a “Feminist in Chief” fighting for greater “equality” in the workplace. Again, women are left disappointed. Obama’s job policies have actually hurt women more than men, despite what he preaches. A recent study shows that women have lost seven times more jobs than our male counterparts.
Additionally, the Obama Administration is working tirelessly to convince women that they will be happier with taxpayer-funded health care and contraception. Despite how pretty the left packages the individual health care and contraception mandates, women (and men) are losing their freedom of conscience and look to inherit an additional $340 billion in national debt. Perhaps these factors contributed to the 26 percent of American women who are on some type of anti-anxiety medication.
What secular society must understand is that true happiness cannot be based on the external things in our lives, such as money, status, and possessions. Nazi resistance leader and German theologian Dietrich Bonheoffer explained that, “Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of anxiety.”
Let us recall that God’s Word reminds us, “For You [God] are our glory and joy,” and the message to us from Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”
According to a recent report published by a U.K.-based Christian Medical Fellowship, on average, Christians live healthier, happier, and longer lives. This isn’t a coincidence. After all, those fuzzy feelings of happiness will always come and go along with life’s trials. But life’s true joy is a daily gift from our loving Heavenly Father.