Why not? Let me explain.
I no longer initiate the exclamatory phrase, “Happy New Year!”
None of us are morally obligated to mindlessly repeat this wish. Before you label me as a melancholy killjoy, let me explain.
I’ve given a great deal of thought to happiness as opposed to joy. They’re not identical concepts, though you can possess them both at the same time. Happiness depends on my happenings and is only a temporary emotion. It’s when circumstances give me good vibes or those warm fuzzy feelings.
Let me confess. Everything that has happened over the last few years did not make me happy. Wisdom tells me that not everything that happens in the next 12 months will make me happy either.
Case in point, in 2015, my favorite son-in-law woke up to discover that 15-20 cars in their apartment complex had been vandalized. Among those were his and my daughter’s cars with their rear windshields knocked out. They were not happy about that!
What’s the solution? I gave up the unrealistic expectation that a new year brings happiness. A new year holds no magic to make all of your days happy and gleeful.
What can I say? Rather than mindlessly wish you a happy new year, I shall bid you a JOYful new year.
The reality is clear. Life is not always fair, equitable, and happy. It’s okay. Momma said there’d be days like this. And grandmother reminded me often that once you’ve made your own bed, you had to lie in it.
Consequently, poor decision-making is the reason why some people have had poor years. But, much like those somewhat funny Kermit the frog memes, I have to say, that’s none of my business. I’ll simply suggest you begin reading your Bible and learn the godly wisdom and knowledge needed to make better decisions.
You can have a JOYful new year, despite the unhappy happenings that will occur over the next twelve months. It starts with learning that biblical JOY is not based on temporary feelings. As a Bible-believing Christian, I’ve learned to think of JOY as my deep down settled contentment that tells me everything’s gonna be alright in Christ – regardless of my circumstances.
While happiness is a temporary, fleeting emotion, the JOY of the Lord is meant to be my permanent strength.
Enjoy happiness when it visits your life. Just don’t let it disturb the permanent resident of JOY. Let happiness come and go, but hold on to the JOY of the Lord. It’s where your true strength comes from.
What do I wish for every member of my family, our friends, and my frequent readers?
It’s actually a prayer and not just a mindless wish. For the remaining months and years of your life, I pray you would intentionally seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Give the King your full attention. And take daily action to fulfill His will for your life.
I’ll leave you with this key to being acceptable to God and approved by men. The Kingdom of God is really not based on your happiness. It is all about righteousness, peace, and JOY in the Holy Spirit!