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3 Things People in the Happiest Country Never Do

For five years in a row, Finland has ranked No. 1 as the happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report. A Finnish philosopher and psychology researcher who studies the fundamentals of happiness, was asked: What exactly makes people in Finland so exceptionally satisfied with their lives? He answered, “To maintain a high quality of life, here are three things we never do”:

1. We Don’t Compare Ourselves to Our Neighbors.

There’s a famous line by a Finnish poet: “Don’t compare or brag about your happiness.” Finns really take this to heart, especially when it comes to material things and overt displays of wealth. I once ran into one of the wealthiest man in Finland. He was pushing his toddler in a stroller towards the tram station. He could have bought himself an expensive car or hire a driver, but he opted for public transportation. That’s what success looks like in Finland: Just like everyone else.

2. We Don’t Overlook the Benefits of Nature.

According to a 2021 survey, 87% of Finns feel that nature is important to them because it provides them with peace of mind, energy, and relaxation. In Finland, employees are entitled to four weeks of summer holiday. Many of them use that time to hit the countryside and immerse themselves in nature. Spending time in nature increases vitality, well-being, and a gives a sense of personal growth.

3. We Don’t Break the Community Circle of Trust.

Research shows that the higher the levels of trust within a country, the happier its citizens are. Finnish people tend to trust each other and value honesty. If you forget your laptop in a library or lost your phone on the train, you can be quite confident you’ll get it back. Kids also often take a public bus home from school and play outside without supervision.

Possible Preaching Angles:

This illustration could also be titled, “3 Things People in the Happiest Churches Do.” It is instructive that each of the three points matches with scriptural values for relationships between church members: 1. We don’t compare ourselves to our neighbors: (Matt. 7:1-5; 2 Cor. 10:12, Gal. 5:26; Gal. 6:4); 2. We don’t overlook the benefits of nature: (Psa. 1:2; Mark 6:31; Phil. 4:8; Heb. 4:9-10); 3. We don’t break the community circle of trust: (Acts 2:42, 1 Tim. 5:13; Heb. 10:24-25; Jam. 1:26; 1 Pet. 2:1, 2 Cor 12:20)

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