Pastoral Ponderings— Bumper Sticker Science

Isn’t it funny how certain things tend to catch your eye?  I guess it’s no surprise that a big black pick-up truck with foot-long colorful eyelashes would catch my eye.  That was just for my evening giggle, though, which is nice enough on its own, but what really caught my eye wasn’t so much the eyelashes—lovely as they were—but the big sticker on the window that read “Kindness is joy.”  Simple, direct, to the point, and such a powerful truth.  Have you ever noticed how people who express kindness a lot tend to be more joyful and happy?  With the opposite also true—people who are generally Unkind, likewise seem to be grumps who rarely find joy or happiness.

Assuming these observations are generally accurate, scientifically speaking, you still have the question of whether the relationship between kindness and joy (as well as the lack of both) is merely a correlation, or is one somehow causative of the other?  I understand most people probably don’t really care or ask these questions, but welcome to the nerdy way my mind works…

I’ve probably mentioned already that there’s a relatively new discipline called Positive Psychology in the field of the social sciences that’s doing research in this kind of thing, and has “discovered” that if you “hunt the good stuff,” you’ll tend to find more of the good stuff, be happier, and by the way, that doing kind things elicits happy hormones throughout your body.  Who knows how many millions of dollars were spent on research to make these “discoveries.”  I doubt those psychologists would admit that such great wisdom was already available in the free Bibles in hotel rooms and churches across the country, but science is funny that way.

Isn’t it great when there’s no conflict between faith and science?  The verdict is in from both–if you want to find joy, be kind.  If you want to be happy, do kindness, whether you feel like it or not, and you’ll grow your happiness within.  If you’re stuck in a rut—you guessed it—be kind, because the bumper sticker science it accurate.  (Or “BEE kind”—since I didn’t get a picture of the other sticker…)

Bee kind every day—Pastor Jim

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