Resisting Happiness- A Book Review and Why You Too Should Read This Book
Recently, I have joined a great book club. This book club is a group of women who I have a spiritual and community connection with. Not only are they beautiful (inside and out) they are intelligent, vulnerable, and willing to share and keep it real. We struggle, we laugh, we pray for one another but we also have something else in common—we are working to take time out to care for ourselves through the written word and to fellowshipping with one another.
For the month of April and May, we are reading the book “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly. You can find the book HERE. I begin this book in a place where I am searching for why I am challenged with negative self talk. A lot of times I wonder about what keeps me from being great—from doing something great. There are so many initiatives and creative endeavors that I wish share. There is information that I know about health that I should implement and share. But I don’t implement and share this creativity, information, and initiatives and allow negative self talk to talk me out of it. Well the Bible describes it as a war between the flesh and the spirit. Paul described it as knowing the things he should do but failing to do them. Matthew Kelly, in his book coins it as resisting happiness or resisting being the “best version of you.”
While reading this book, I began to realize that my resistance is a direct reflection of my failure to have an intimate relationship with God. Although I want this relationship, I fail to do the things necessary to truly become intimate with Him (so is this really wanting an intimate relationship?).
Let me get real…look I have made EVERYTHING else in my life is a priority right now except my relationship with God. It’s not right. But this is what is my reality right now. I mean if you follow my blog, I have a section dedicated to the spirit however, this is my very first blog post relating to the spirit. Yeah, sad I know. It’s no wonder I have not lived in purpose as I have not been reading and studying His word. Reading and studying His word is how we listen to God. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” Matthew 6:33.
Two weeks ago, I committed to reading a devotion every morning. It is a short devotion on a topic that ends with a prayer. I have found just this small action has made a great impact to start my day. Whether I pull out the devotion before my feet hit the floor or if I decide to wake and sit at my kitchen table, my disposition is so much better for having taken time to read His word and place it on my heart before my day to begins. It has helped my attitude, it helped me stay focused, and helped me to be more gentle.
Matthew Kelly emphasizes the importance of making God a priority through actively seeking and communicating with Him daily. He starts his book by emphasizing that the very first decision we make daily is with an alarm to either wake or snooze. The impact of this one decision creates the tone for the entire day. If you decide to snooze you have allowed resistance to enter into your day. If you wake and make God a priority, you have fought your first bout with resistance and won!
His description of the alarm decision is what led to my commitment to read a devotion every morning. I have neglected my first love—God. The fallout from neglecting my first love is neglecting to love me. This in turn has impacted all other relationships in my life—husband, kids, family, and friends.
You may ask, Maisha why should I read this book? Well, good question! If you are struggling with focus, negative self talk, living in your God given purpose, or implementing or sharing what you know could help yourself or your community this book is for you.
God has revealed that there is a war in our bodies between the flesh and the spirit. God wants us to be great for his Kingdom. He gave us each a talent and is expecting a return on His investment. Matthew 25: 14-30. I know this. I’ve read this and am familiar with the scripture concerning the talents and have been for most of my life. But what the book revealed, were Biblical principles in a new light and boil it down to a phrase “Resisting Happiness.” It illustrates how to recognize resistance and counteract it so that you can be the best version of you.
I found that the book is heavily weighted to those who are Catholic. I’m not Catholic but am a member of the church of Christ. Although the book is geared to Catholic practices, I was able to apply the Biblical principles used in the book to the teaching I received as a member of the church of Christ. As my friend illustrated, sometimes you just have to get to the “meat” of the matter and discard the bones. (For my vegans followers, eat the fruit and plant the seeds).
If you decide not to read the book, just realize that in order to be the best version of you it is necessary to put God at the beginning of the equation. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” Matthew 6:33. My hope is that you enjoy this book as much as I did and that you recognize resistance in your own life.
Do you like cake?
Of course you do! How about vegan chocolate cake? Download the recipe here, then access other recipes on my Sol Kissed Recipes page.