Hope you’re smiling.
In July 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a groundbreaking resolution which recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes… happiness and well-being of all peoples.”
In April 2012 the first ever UN conference on Happiness took place in New York and in July 2012 the UN General Assembly adopted a further resolution which decreed that the International Day of Happiness was to be observed every year on 20 March.
Well, now you know. So be happy. Now!
It’s easy. Only 50 action steps!
Seriously though, many of these steps reflect Christian ethics which we would expect to make a positive difference to people’s lives.
However, disconnected from the Christ of the ethics, they are unsustainable and can only have a limited and temporary impact. In fact, apart from Christ’s power, I cannot imagine even attempting to live up to this manifesto. 50 steps! That more frightening than Sinai.
But if we have experienced Christ’s free and full pardon for all our missed steps, missteps, and no-steps, we have a real basis for lasting and even everlasting joy. Christian happiness is not based on doing the law but upon believing the Gospel; not upon any of our daily steps but upon 33 years of Christ’s steps.
So, should Christians support the International Day of Happiness?
I’d still say , “Yes.”
Even when separated from the Gospel?
Surely every Christian wants their friends and family to be happy. Indeed, we wish the whole world was a happier place. We’re happy when people take steps to make their own lives happier and the lives of others, even if it is separated from the Gospel.
The alternative position is that we want everyone to get really sad and miserable because then they’ll turn to the Gospel! Rarely happens.
Better for Christians to welcome any legitimate attempt to promote human happiness. But not to stop there. Instead to say to happiness-hunters, “Hey, why eat crumbs when you can have a feast? Why pursue happiness mandated by the UN and refuse the happiness offered by God? Why settle for a day of happiness when you can have eternal happiness?”
One pastor I know when asked on a plane, “What do you do?” says, “I make people eternally happy!” Usually gets the conversation going.
Why not start some “real happiness” conversations today?