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Discover Undistorted Love

“Too often, a blessed life leaves distorted love unrecognized and unchallenged.

Consider a new way to understand both love and happiness, a way that will move you onto the narrow road where you will no longer depend on life’s blessings for your happiness, though you will still gratefully enjoy them. Instead you will discover undistorted love, a way to love that lets you know the happiness of Jesus.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 24

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways can blessing disguise distorted love?
• What’s your heart’s response right now to the call to a happiness that doesn’t depend on blessings?

In Touch With Undistorted Love

“A difficult life requires costly love, a better one that brings peace in the middle of storms. Suffering has unique power to put you in touch with undistorted love, the kind that has opportunity to come more alive when relationships sour and circumstances unravel.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 24

Questions for Reflection:
• What opportunities does suffering offer for genuine love to grow?
• Is this a difficult thought for you to consider or does it stir hope within you?

The Narrow Road That Jesus Said Leads To Life

“If you know Jesus and therefore possess a nature made of the same stuff as God’s nature, you can discover a kind of happiness that can be yours even if nothing outside of you changes. But you must learn what it means to walk the narrow road that Jesus said leads to life. Only then will you enjoy the fruit of loving well.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 23

Questions for Reflection:
• If your life is currently marked by ongoing challenges that make happiness seem out of reach, what’s your response to this invitation to a happiness not dependent on improved circumstances?
• Does the call to walk the narrow road as the path to life entice or irritate you?
• Begin a dialogue with God about His invitation and your response to it, and ask Him to increase your desire for the life that only He can give.

Connection Between Loving Others And Finding Happiness

“Nothing in today’s world, including our church world, has been more lamentably treated as fiction, if it is even considered, than the God-arranged connection between loving others and finding happiness. If Jesus is our model, then loving others sacrificially generates a kind of happiness, an awareness of destiny fulfilled, that remains alive even when life is unjustly difficult and our hearts feel empty and alone.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 21

Questions for Reflection:
• If you were asked what would make you happy, would your response typically be: “It would make me really happy to love more sacrificially”?
• What level of internal resistance do you experience when you consider the link between your happiness and the love that you offer others?
• Take some time today to talk with God about this connection between happiness and loving as Jesus does.

Loving Others With A Costly Love

“First thing happiness, in God’s thinking a better kind of happiness, develops when we struggle to love others with a costly love that is possible only if we have a life-giving relationship with Jesus that is grounded entirely in His love for us. This love lets us rest, not complacently but comfortably, in our ongoing weakness and failure.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 20

Questions for Reflection:
• Is the love you’re offering to others fueled by your relationship with Jesus or by your own efforts to be a loving person?
• As you look at any ways you’ve failed to love well today, are you still resting in Jesus’ unfailing love for you?
• Take some time to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal ways in which you’ve moved away from His life and have carried the burden of life on your own.
• Offer those areas to Him again, and allow Jesus’ love to be your strength and rest.

Reveal The Father’s Heart To The World

“The kind of prayer that pours out of us as we walk the narrow road doesn’t center on the good things we legitimately want, such as good health and a decent job or even a happy family and good friends. It rather meaningfully and passionately asks God’s Spirit, at any cost to ourselves, to make us little Christs who reveal the Father’s heart to the world by the way we love.

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 17

Question for Reflection:
• In what ways are you being given the opportunity to be a “little Christ” to those around you today?

Discover Soul Happiness

“Those who live on the narrow road discover happiness – not always the familiar pleasant feelings that come when life goes our way but rather soul happiness, a weighty anchor that sustains us with hope and joy as we live to love.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 17

Questions for Reflection:
• Think of a time when you experienced the anchored happiness that rose from living to love another.
• What were the circumstances?
• What was God doing in your heart during that time?