Are you happy in who you are?

Published 9:54 pm Monday, December 2, 2019

By Joseph Perry

That’s a question for you and me as we open up this Advent season. Are you happy with who you are?

That’s what a young man shared with me as he was shopping with his family. He said to me, “I’m so happy that we are in the holiday season. I’m happy to be a part of being able to buy gifts for family and friends.”

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I will contend that there are people we may know who aren’t happy during this time of the year. As a matter of fact, they are sad. When they think about all that they have in front of them, some of them even now are robbing Peter to pay Paul. We are living in a world that still expects you to take care of your debts and expenditures that you have incurred.

The Psalmist in Psalm 1 talks about the person who lives a truly happy life. This Psalm serves as an introduction to the entire book of Psalms. It’s actually suggesting that we strive to live happy lives. A happy life can bring about less stress on a person’s life. The Psalmist recognizes that the character of a happy person does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor does he stand in the way of the sinner; however his delight, what he enjoys, is to abide in the law of the Lord. In other words, what makes him happy is to please the Lord.
It’s important for one to meditate, to think on the word of God all day. For when we allow the word of God to permeate in our heart, it does something to us. We are not the same when we allow God’s word to have total control in our lives. When it takes root in us, we will not think the same. Whatever we do in life will prosper.

There’s something about when we receive the word of the Lord in our lives; it causes us to rethink what we are doing in life. It causes us to refocus on the things of life. It even has us at times to reflect on what we have done in life. His word realigns us to share even in this Advent season for the coming of Christ. We see Christmas in a way we should, and that is knowing that because of Jesus, He brings the joy into the world.

Be happy where you are. Be happy in who you are. Be happy in knowing where the Lord is taking you in such a time as this. Remember that this joy that you have, the world didn’t give it to you, and the world can’t take it away.

We should be happy every day, and all through the year, and not just certain times in the year. Allow your happiness to rub off onto someone else by saying an encouraging word, by reaching and giving them a helping hand. That’s what true happiness stems from, when we express Jesus who lives on the inside and works on the outside.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Perry is pastor of St. Mark AME Zion Church. Contact him at