On being a happy nation.

The UK’s coalition government announced last week that the success of the nation will no longer be measured by its wealth generating power but by how happy we all are as a population.

It’s a fairly obvious political move to make because we’re skint, the nations bank account is empty and we’ve shed loads of debt.  Gordon Brown sold most of our gold at bargain basement prices and we are neck deep in trillions of pounds of public and private spending on the never-never. We have years of hard toil ahead.  Money hasn’t made us happy and, even if it could, it can’t now as we don’t have any.

So the government has moved the goal posts.  You will be happy they say and we’ll provide the means of happiness.  This is frightening. If the state sees itself as the source of the nation’s happiness, the answer to its own question, then we’re in for a miserable time. We can’t be far aware from a Soviet style centralised state bureaux of laughs to help us forget how crap life in Britian really is (the BBC?).

We should have no hope in the government succeeding in any goal of generating happiness. One thing we’ve learned at Holy Trinity church this autumn is that true happiness can only be found in God. God makes people happy when we look to Christ, know him, love him and enjoy him. We can’t be truly happy unless we know Christ and our government needs to cotton on to this.

Here’s a list of the ways we’ve found that God blesses people:

Psalm 1 –
You will be happy or blessed if you delight in the laws of God.
Psalm 32 –
You will be happy and blessed if you know your sins are forgiven.
Psalm 128 –
You will be happy and blessed if you fear the Lord
Psalm 2 –
You will be happy and blessed if you take refuge from judgement in Jesus
Psalm 65 –
You will be happy and blessed if you know that God has chosen you to be his son or daughter
Psalm 40 –
You will be happy and blessed if you make the Lord your trust, even in hard times.
Psalm 84 –
You will be happy and blessed if you long to be with God forever, more than you long for life itself.
Psalm 74 –
You will be happy and blessed as a nation when God’s anointed and eternal king is your king.

If David Cameron and Nick Clegg are serious about bringing lasting happiness, contentedness or blessedness, call it what you will, to the UK then what they need to do is simple.  The should point people to Christ. David Cameron needs to make his private Anglicanism public and we need to pray for Nick Clegg to have a Constantinian style conversion.

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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