Happiness happens when we give it away. Be the family member who offers to wash the dishes after dinner. Be the colleague who serves the staff by arriving on time for each meeting and listening attentively. Be the church member who supports the pastor with prayer and notes of encouragement. Be the neighbor who mows the grass of the elderly couple.  Can you imagine the joy-giving benefits of these decisions?

Contrast the situation of Moe and Joe. Moe expects everyone to serve him. The moment he awakens he thinks, Is someone going to bring me coffee? He leaves the house thinking, The traffic better be good. If the service of the convenience store attendant is slow, Moe is mad. If the parking lot attendant forgets Moe’s name, Moe grumbles. If the employees at work need more time than Moe want to give them, Moe lets them know.

Moe has high expectations of the world. He expects to be served. He expects people to cater to his plans, meet his needs, and reward him. Consequently, Moe is seldom happy. The service is too slow, the commute takes too long, and the employees don’t remember his name quickly enough.  Moe, miserable Moe.

Joe, on the other hand, measures the success of his day with this standard: Who can I help today? Since there are always people who need help, Joe is insanely successful. He serves his wife her morning coffee. He serves the convenience store clerk with a smile. He serves the parking lot attendant with encouragement. He keeps a positive attitude at work. Bad weather? Snarly traffic? No problem. The world doesn’t exist to take care of him. He exists to take care of others. Circumstances do not affect him. Joe goes to bed with a smile on his face.

Moe is unhappy and makes people frown.  Joe is happy and makes people smile.  Which one are you? Moe? Joe? Or a little of both, Mo-Jo? Maybe it’s time to look at life differently. Make your happiness dependent upon how others serve you, and you will always be disappointed. Find happiness in serving others and… well, you can complete the sentence.

© Max Lucado, 2019

How Happiness Happens released September 17, 2019.  Order your copy from Christianbook.com; Amazon.com; or your favorite book retailer.

One comment on “How Happiness Happens

  1. I can’t wait to get this book. It’s going to be good I just know it. I love reading Max’s books, they give me much satisfaction and easier for me to understand things. His books have really helped me see so many things in a different view. Thank you, Max. Keep them coming. God bless you always.

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