Of the writing of self-help books there is no end.
I think the author of Ecclesiastes wrote that or someone else. I don’t really remember… I’m kidding. But really though – whoever is publishing these self-help books is making bank! The formula is pretty easy – you tell the reader that if they follow a few simple steps they will be on track for a better, more fulfilling, happier life. Books like that kind of make me want to gag! So when I saw David’ Murray’s new book The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be A Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World, I was shocked! Really Dr. Murray! Don’t tell me you have succumbed to the self-help market too! Well – I read the book and I was pleasantly surprised (and definitely relieved)! The title sort of sounds like a self-help book but its not!
In The Happy Christian Murray makes the revolutionary claim that Christians should be the most joyful people on earth. Who would have thought! I mean it seems pretty obvious right? But most Christians don’t actually live joyfully like that. Here is what Murray has to say about Christian happiness:
Christian happiness is so large, so multi-layered, so multidimensional, that its virtually impossible to define in one sentence. But let me try: Christian happiness is a God, centered, God glorying, God given sense of God’s love that is produced by right relationship to God in Christ and that produces loving service of God and others. (xix)
Murray certainly isn’t repacking a health, wealth, and prosperity gospel. Nor is he advocating for the power of positive thinking – he is returning to the core conviction that Christians should be the most joyful and happy people on earth simply because we know God.
Murray begins with three very simple things we need to get right if we are going to be happy:
Facts + Thoughts + Feelings
Prioritize the facts – what is actually true? Interpret the facts! Use the facts do dictate your thoughts and feelings. If every believer simply did this they would live much happier lives.
After establishing this basic foundation Murray walks through several areas where we can begin to find joy in our lives…
Find joy in your salvation
Find joy in community
Find joy in common grace
Find joy in praise
Find joy in serving
Find joy in work
Find joy in diversity
As Christians we have many reasons to be joyful!
Sidenote: My favorite part of the book was the chapter on diversity. Murray is brutally honest and transparent with his own failings and sin when it comes to pursuing diversity. He explains how God challenged him in this area and how he came to repentance. Then he paints a beautiful picture of how God intended his bride to be a diverse body representing people from every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Who is book for? Really is for anybody who wants to experience more joy of the Lord in their lives. If that’s you – and you are ready to shed the negativity in your life and exchanged it for the positive power of the gospel then pick up this book when its release in a few weeks.
Until then… I have a copy of the book to give away!
To get a free copy do one of the following things and you will be entered to win a copy:
- Comment below regarding why you want to read this book or how you have recently experienced joy in the Lord.
- Like this blog post.
- Re-blog this blog.
- Like my post on Facebook and/or tell me why you want a copy of the book.
- Follow me on twitter – @CWoznicki – and tell me why you want this book.
Note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an impartial review.