Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Review - The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper


Imagine hearing your physician tell you that chips and queso contain more nutritional benefits than kale and quinoa.

 In her new book, The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World, Lisa Harper unveils a similarly extravagant, unexpected surprise, declaring that happiness is a gift from God that we can unashamedly enjoy.

 Wearing the twin hats of both seminarian and belly-laughing adoptive mom, Harper builds upon solid theological scaffolding for happiness in a warm, vignette style. She dismantles the old-school idea that joy, not happiness, is the truly spiritual emotion of the Christian family and asserts that Christ-followers are actually called to happiness . . . to such a deep conviction in the unmitigated goodness of our Creator-Redeemer that we are free to feel and express genuine joy, fulfillment and contentment, regardless of personal and global tumult.

 Harper’s personal story includes such happiness killers as sexual abuse, the death of loved ones, and heartbreaking failed adoptions. Yet she writes on themes like:

•“The lost sacrament of laughter”
•“Happiness is not the absence of sadness”
•“Tuning out the Pharisees who try to mute your happiness in the context of spiritual maturity”

This book goes well beneath most people’s surface understanding of happiness, gently guiding readers closer to the heart of God . . . with naturally a few genuine guffaws to enjoy along the way.


The Sacrament of Happy had me thinking in new ways about how God loves me. It's hard for me to believe that God loves me unconditionally, and the concept that He may actually be happy with me, is totally foreign to my mind and heart. This book has me re-thinking about God's love for us and how much He delights in us.

This book is written in such a way that Lisa makes you feel as though you're sitting across the table from her while she shares her stories. She is open, honest, and her writing is so touching. I found myself wiping away tears one minute and laughing out loud the next.

I really love that she is so faithful to the Word of God in sharing about the idea of happiness and the believer. She also shares ideas from Biblical teachers that I know and trust. The questions at the end of the chapters helped me to really dig deep into my own thoughts and feelings about how I feel about the idea of being happy as a Christian woman.

My biggest take away from this book is that it's really okay to be happy and that our joy and happiness are found in the Lord. Yes, our thoughts can make a huge difference in how we feel but these feelings need to be grounded in what is true from the Word of God. I enjoyed this book so much and will be re-reading it again because I know there are so many concepts I truly want to implement into my life. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to my honest review by B & H Publishers

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