Don't put happiness on hold

A Christian Science perspective.

Happiness is dangled before us in many subtle and sometimes blatant ways during the course of our everyday lives. It’s often presented as something that awaits us, and often involves acquiring one product or another to complete the prospect. Very rarely is the case made that we already have it.

So it’s not unusual that we may find ourselves thinking of happiness as something we would love to attain, but is just out of our grasp. It will come perhaps with the right friendship, with marriage, with children, or with the perfect job. It may be ours when our bodies shape up, or when a nagging complaint fades away. If we could find a better apartment, pay all our bills, improve a grade-point average, or leave home – then we would be happy.

Nevertheless, the case has already been made, and convincingly, by Christ Jesus’ teachings, that we are in fact inherently happy. In the summary of his teaching called the Sermon on the Mount, God’s children are described as fully happy. In the familiar King James Version of the Bible, the Beatitudes begin with “Blessed are ....” In several other translations, the word blessed is replaced with “happy.” And the Amplified Bible follows the word blessed with this amplification: “happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous – with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions” (verse 5). In the Master’s statement that concludes the chapter, he declares, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Students of the divine Science Jesus exemplified agree with this description of spiritual man, God’s child, as complete, perfect, deeply satisfied. Willingness to defy limited concepts about ourselves and about others as imperfect and unhappy mortals is the real opportunity of a Christian. The spiritual fact is that man is immortal, God’s creation, entirely spiritual, fully equipped by God to express the fullness and happiness that characterize His universe of good.

Things that seemed to be obstacles will become like ascending treads on a ladder, enhancing your view.

I began to discover this when my husband was in graduate school and I was working for the university he was attending. During this period our happiness seemed to be on hold. We lived in a very small apartment. He spent much of his time studying and writing papers for his degree, and I spent some of that time wondering where we would live after his program was complete. Not only where, but how. What would I do? How would we ever pay back the school debt we’d accumulated? Hours went by as I circled around in this kind of speculation. On one particular Sunday, we were doing our weekly routine – going out for lunch and an ice cream sundae treat after church. Finally, as I put my spoon down after one of those long dreaming sessions, it came to me like a flash. Stop putting off God!

You see, it was also my routine to pray daily. And in that daily prayer, I would confirm God’s ever-presence, His goodness, allness, and love. I agreed that God was governing our lives and caring for our needs, yet I had been in a way “put to sleep” by the common definition of what constitutes happiness. I’d mistakenly accepted that it wasn’t a present condition, but an aspiration. From that day on, I stopped indulging in what might be, and rejoiced in the present goodness of God. I rejected the belief that happiness is circumstantial, and accepted instead that God’s goodness does not wax and wane, but is always with us. Happiness, I began to see, was as innate to us as wetness is to water, or as brightness is to sunshine.

As my husband’s schoolwork concluded, there was a natural and easy unfoldment of the next steps. Although he got a job, as did I, I found there was no accompanying exhilaration in these changes, as I had once projected. Instead, there was simply a seamless flow of events. It was a continuation of good.

Since that experience, I have endeavored to be more alert to separate the world’s view on any subject from what Christian Science teaches, which brings true dominion and healing demonstration. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love” (p. 57). Because of this, happiness is not a remote possibility, but a permanent characteristic of God’s creation, originating in God. Knowing this not only enables us to express joy based on spiritual law, but it also determines our well-being, our health.

Regardless of what you might be tempted to believe about your life, if you start with the spiritual fact that as God’s child you are exceedingly happy, the view before you will brighten. Things that seemed to be obstacles will become like ascending treads on a ladder, enhancing your view. God’s determination for His cherished children to be blessed, happy, is above distortion and interference. His promises are kept.

Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel

To receive Christian Science perspectives daily or weekly in your inbox, sign up today.

To learn more about Christian Science, visit

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Don't put happiness on hold
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today