Spiritual Principles for Happiness
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Greed and Gratitude
~ Mt. 6:25 Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
~ Who and what is truly important in your life?
~ Ecc. 5:10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
~ How much money do you actually need to access those people and things that are important in your life?
~ Can money alone make you happy?
~ Heb. 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.
~ Take an honest inventory of what you have
~ Focus more on the things you have instead of the things you want
~ Mt. 6:27 Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life?
~ Loss of control
~ Pr. 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
~ Sometimes there are things you cannot change. Recognize what you have control over and accept what you don’t.
~ Seek encouragement
~ Do for others
~ Use the opposite emotion
Feeling Overwhelmed and Burdened
~ Pr. 17:22/ James 1: 2–4 / Romans 5:3-5 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
~ What have you learned from each of the challenges you have endured? (Courage, faith, skills…)
~ Philippians 4:12–13 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
~ Abundance: Gratitude, faith, hope, avoiding complacency
~ Hunger: Gratitude, hope, faith
Envy and Jealousy
~ Pr 14: 30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
~ When you are at peace you can use that energy for things that bring happiness.
~ Rm 12: 21 Do not be overcome by evil (envy, jealousy), but overcome evil with good.
~ When you are tempted to be angry, be kind. When you are tempted to cheat, do the right thing so you can look yourself in the mirror.
~ James 4:2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
~ How much more energy would you have and how much more pleasant would life be if you focused on what you have instead of what others do.
~ What is it that you are really wanting?
Anger, Forgiveness and Acceptance
~ Psalm 37:7-9 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
~ Bad things happen but what goes around eventually comes around
~ Don’t waste your energy being angry over something you cannot control
~ Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
~ James 1:19 Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
~ Anger means you feel threatened. People who are slow to anger, listen, try to understand before jumping to conclusions and seeing a threat where none was intended.
Anger, Forgiveness and Acceptance
~ Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
~ If you respond to anger with anger, it only stokes the fire. Embrace the dialectics and try to see how each of you might be right. Then create a win/win
~ Romans 2:5 But because of your hard and unforgiving heart you are storing up wrath for yourself
~ When you hold on to anger and resentment it has nowhere to go, but to fester inside you and drain your energy and spirit of hope and happiness.
~ Ephesians 4:26 Do not let the sun go down on your anger
~ When you do get angry, work to find a resolution right then. Otherwise it will tend to not get dealt with and fester.
~ Remember sometimes you need to just accept what is, because holding on to anger is not going to improve the situation.
Love and Righteousness
~ Giving food, drink, shelter to those in need
~ Spending time with the sick and imprisoned
~ Instructing the ignorant (Use your skills)
~ Encouraging people
~ Comforting the sorrowful
~ Grateful (It does not envy and is mindful of blessings)
~ Humble—Give credit where credit is due
~ Fortitude (doing what's right in all situations)
~ Wise/Prudent (knowing the appropriate what, when, and how)