Murray's decision to marry up psychology with biblical teaching is an interesting and effective one. Murray's chapters are filled with the scientific value of optimism, prescriptions for how much negativity can be mixed with positivity to still live a hopeful, happy life, and scientific evidence for the daily practice of more positive habits that can be exercised by Christians in conjunction with their faith. In the course of it all, Murray makes a good case for how modern positive psychology is is right in line with God's will and promise for our lives.
Though I appreciated the psychology aspect, I was much more in tune with the chapters that leaned more on biblical teaching. The chapter about our daily duel with our to-do lists that always ends in disappointment was cast in a different light when Murray reminds readers that Jesus's work, the hardest and most important, is already done. Additionally, the chapter about taking more joy in our work by doing everything with passion and honesty to the glory of God, and how that can give meaning and purpose to even the most insignificant of jobs, really hit home. Murray even closes with a very prescient topic for this day and age: diversity. In this chapter he makes a great case for God's desire to reach all nations and for how diversifying our communities and our churches is key in future joy as we each stand to reap the benefits of plugging in every race and culture's strengths into a united church.
On the whole, I was impressed and encouraged by Murray's book and came away with some great insights. Additionally, I was impressed that Murray, in addition to providing solid reasoning and theology, took the next step and provided readers of The Happy Christian with practical and often biblical ways to start introducing more hope and positivity into our lives, a practical aspect missing from too many Christian books. I'd encourage anybody who is wondering why happiness seems to be a little too hard to hold onto, to give Murray's book a read and hope that it changes your perspective the way it changed mine.
Whatever you will complete or not today, rest in the only work that will never need to be done again. Rest in the fact that Jesus has done the most impossible job in the world, done it perfectly, and made it available. Take it. Enjoy it. Build your life on it. Let it change your whole view of your life and work. Use His work to put your work in perspective. Believe His work is counted as yours. Despite all that you fear and dread about the next ten hours - a critical boss, a vicious competitor, a looming deadline, a complaining customer, an impossible sales target, unrelenting children, monotonous drudge - you have Christ's perfect work credited to your account. Yes, it is counted as yours, as if you did it. Are you humble enough to receive it?
(Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy for review consideration.)