I struggle with negative thinking. I find myself often working through the feeling that because I didn’t get my whole checklist accomplished I didn’t get anything done. Then, I’ll have the feeling that maybe I’m an awful mom because I lost my temper and yelled at my children. I’ll see one of my children hit another one in an argument and assume that they must be bound for jail one day.
So, it was with great wariness that I settled into reading The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World by David Murray. After all, I thought it was destined to be some positive thinking mumbo jumbo were you might receive an mantra to repeat as you needed a pick-me-up through the day. I could not have been more pleasantly surprised.
Murray devotes ten chapters to sharing ten areas and ways that Christians can learn to focus more positively and become happier. I had several favorite chapters, but I think that best lines from this book for me came in the chapter happy gospel. In each chapter, Murray not only discusses his ideas for being happier in this area of life, but he also discusses the obstacles that are there to keep you from getting happier.
And though most Christians will be able to give you the “salvation by grace apart from works” answer on a theology exam, their personal daily spiritual experience too often defaults to various versions of “salvation by works.”
I think that if we, as Christians truly believed that it is done. If we believed that Christ’s work on the cross finished things forever and we can rest in it, then we would have much less to worry about. We could happily and peacefully carry on with the rest of our lives, in a thankful and restful service of Him.
Murray also has great advice about giving, media consumption, and getting along with others who you have differences with. I think I’ll be going back to this book over and over again to remind myself of ways to keep telling myself the truth so that I can keep a more positive frame of mind, even when my circumstances are not happy.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Booklook Bloggers. I wasn’t required to write a positive review.