Someone listed Pope Francis’ top ten tips for happiness on the ‘net’. The Pope’s top ten tips for happiness are all things that he considers important, and they are certainly all good ideas. Are they all biblical? I began to wonder, “How do they match up with Jesus’ teachings?”
To see how Pope Francis’ top ten tips for happiness match up with the teachings of the Son of God, check out Pope Issues Top Ten Tips for Happiness.
Here is the Pope’s list in abbreviated form:
- l “Live and let live. “
- 2 “Be giving of yourself to others.”
- 3 “Proceed calmly” in life.
- 4 A healthy sense of leisure. The Pope said “consumerism has brought us anxiety”…
- 5 Sundays should be holidays. “Sunday is for family.”
- 6 Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people.
- 7 Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,”
- 8 Stop being negative. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”
- 9 Don’t proselytise; respect others’ beliefs.
- 10 Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,”…
Jesus taught in Matthew chapter five that we can be blessed under certain conditions. When we are blessed, we will be happy regardless of the circumstances of the moment.
Jesus’ first teaching was that we are blessed if we are poor in spirit because then we belong to the kingdom of heaven.
- 1 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus taught that to be truly blessed or happy, we must first mourn because then we will be comforted.
- 2 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
He taught that doing the thing that leads to the inheritance of the earth will make us happy. What is that quality? Meekness – displaying meekness in our lives leads us to this goal.
- 3 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Jesus also taught that to enjoy a life of satisfaction, we must be filled with righteousness.
- 4 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
To be happy or blessed, we are going to need mercy. Those who are merciful will receive mercy.
- 5 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Real blessedness will be experienced by those who see God. It will happen to those who are pure in heart, so we are blessed when our hearts are pure.
- 6 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Living as peacemakers will bring us a state of happiness.
- 7 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Taking a stand for right, brings blessings and happiness and ultimately the kingdom of heaven. We all know that this may not be the popular thing to do many times.
- 8 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Number 9 on Jesus list was an attitude that He knows will bring blessings. The attitude of being happy and rejoicing when we are falsely accused because we follow Him.
- 9 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Number 10 might be listed as an attitude of rejoicing.
- 10 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The lists are very different except for the idea of peace. Jesus, in few a words, tells us how to achieve peace. Pope Francis agrees that peace is the best way.
My choice is to go with Jesus, who also said:
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7