Be happy - tip #13


Let's review the tips so far:

1. Check out possible physical problems (fatigue, hormones, illness)
2. Acknowledge God's command to be joyful
3. Don't blame others - accept responsibility for your own joy
4. Confess sin
5. Address systems errors (ways to do things better/more successfully)
6. Accept the unchangeables.
7.  THE WORD - get in it.
8.  Pray.  And listen.
9.  Talk to yourself - but be sure and preach the Truth!
10.  Monitor music and media
11.  Immerse yourself in God's creation
12.  Don't go to the extreme of over-activity or of isolation.

Tip #13 - Serve others.

This is honestly one of the most effective tools to combat depression.  Come to think of it, serving others combats lots of undesirable things - selfishness, boredom, insignificance, apathy, on and on the list goes.  Serving others is absolutely a great idea.

Especially serving those who are poor and needy....and cannot repay you in any way.

The prophet Isaiah instructs the people of Israel how to find happiness, to be free of burdens this way:

 chapter 58:6-8 - Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8 ¶Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
 
Check out that passage - feeding the hungry, showing hospitality to the poor, clothing the naked is inextricably linked to joy (being free from wickedness and burdens and oppression...LIGHT breaking forth, HEALTH (!!!), and seeing the glory of God). 
 
This may very well be the MOST powerful tip of them all.
 
Don't miss it.
 
p.s. - if you live in the Athens GA community and need somewhere to serve like this, message me.  I have lots of suggestions for places that need you.