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Does Wise Living Equal More Happiness? Discussion Starter

11.19.2013 posted by AwanaYM


According to a study of teens in the U.K., those who had never had alcohol or smoked cigarettes were five to six times more likely to have higher levels of happiness than those who had smoked and drank.

The researchers at the the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University also found a correlation between levels of happiness and teens who ate less junk food and got more exercise. In other words, the study confirms the big idea that wise living tends to lead toward happier living.

That might be worth talking about with your students, and a few of the following questions might get that conversation going.

  • What do you think most people really want from life? [Welcome lots of different answers.]
  • Do you think it would be fair to say that – at the bottom line – most people want to be happy?
  • Do you think it’s a desire for happiness that drives a lot of the choices we make?
  • If that’s true, why do you think students sometimes choose to do things like smoke and drink? [Maybe it’s because they think those things might make them happier.]
  • Do you believe drinking and smoking has anything to do with how happy teenagers are, whether they are Christians or not? Why or why not? [Share the results of the study mentioned in this article.]
  • The Bible says a lot about how to live wisely in the world. What are some examples of wise choices the Bible teaches us to make?
  • Do you think that living according to the wisdom of the Bible will generally lead to more or less happiness? Why?
  • Can you think of any passages of Scripture that would back up that idea? [Be ready to talk about Psalm 1 or 1 Peter 3:10-12, for instance.]
  • Do you think God cares whether you are happy or not? Why?
  • God does not promise that nothing bad will ever happen to us – or that we will always feel happy – but he does warn us away from choices that will definitely lead to bad things happening to us and cause us to be less happy. Do you see that as evidence that he cares about us? Why or why not?
  • What are some wisdom choices that you have noticed in your own life can cause you to feel more or less happy?

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