A ‘New’ Key to Happiness?
The other day I read that “helping others is one of the best routes to happiness, according to many psychologists” (Psychologies, November 2010, p. 36) and I thought ‘haven’t I heard something about helping others being a good thing and the best way for us to live before’?! Oh yes, that’s right – God told us that thousands of years ago in the Bible.
Then verses such as;
“Love your neighbour as yourself.” – Mark 12:31
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you” - John 15:12
sprang to mind and I realised that the psychologists’ research was reinforcing what God had said worked best all along, whether they realised that this was what they were doing or not. In making the world, God has set up it up in such a way that we can empirically investigate things and ‘discover’ that what He said was true all along.
But, the sad thing is that when people ‘discover’ such things, people often take the credit themselves and don’t acknowledge that it’s because of God’s wisdom that life works best as it does. This is largely because we’ve forgotten what God has said to us in the Bible and we give the glory that should rightfully go to God for making such a good, wise world (before we messed it up) to others.
For example, the same article does go on to say;
I’ve started to experience what Allan Luks in The Healing Power of Doing Good (iUniverse) calls the helper’s high – that warm glow that comes from knowing you’ve made someone’s day just a little bit better. According to evolutionary biologists, the happy high comes because co-operation is a good survival strategy.
Whilst this may be true, I believe the reason we get such a ‘high’ is deeper than this, because God made us to work together, to be selfless and loving. However, because of our nature, we often use our ‘selfless’ acts for our own benefit, for example for gaining recognition and praise, as the article goes on to say;
Of course, it’s best if the recipient acknowledges your efforts.
But despite the fact that our seemingly loving and selfless acts are often tainted by selfish motives; perhaps the ‘helper’s high’ is a little glimpse of life working as it should do, as God made it to, showing that although we often take credit for discovering how life works best as something new, it is often us discovering that what God said about life working best, is true!
I invite you to have a think about this next time you hear of ‘discoveries’ of how life works best and see if it’s actually a reinforcement of what God told us was best for the people He’s made, in the world He’s made. Would love to hear your thoughts…