A new study, published in Science magazine, ranked the states in the U.S. according to objective standards, such as daylight hours, traffic congestion, air quality, and other factors, plus subjective factors, as respondents evaluated their own level of satisfaction. My home state of Alabama was in the top 10, along with 5 other Southern states, and Connecticut and New York were the bottom 2.
WebMD had this report on its website:
This study was notable in that it combined people's own self-evaluation with some of the objective factors that we might expect, and there was definitely a correlation.
For the Christian, we can ask what factors in our lives satisfy us. The apostle Paul wrote that he had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he faced. He also wrote that godliness and contentment were great gain. While happiness is commonly thought to be dependent on external circumstances, true joy in Christ comes as a result of the presence of the indwelling Christ. So, we have the challenge to display a great level of satisfaction, evident in our actions, attitudes, and words - and that satisfaction can be experienced regardless of our outward circumstances. While researchers attempt to define what makes us happy, we can be the most joyful people on earth!! Merry Christmas!