This isn't a book about how to manipulate your situation or plaster a smile on your face when you don't mean it. Bob Schultz is like the anti-Joel Osteen because he fully understands that often enough life is just plain hardand maintaining a good attitude often even more so. Using relatable stories (many of them taken from his own life), Schultz uses examples from canoeing, football, hunting, carpentry, making judgments, etc. to show that the joy we're given is with us even in the darkest circumstances.
In one particularly insightful chapter he talks about the two kinds of sorrow. Sorrow is often God's way of letting us know we've done wrong, and godly sorrow will lead us to repentance and change; worldly sorrow, on the other hand, only weighs us down with feelings of guilt and forces us to live in the past, reviewing over and over what we've done wrong with no hope of forgiveness or restitution. That is no way for Christians to live, and Schultz emphasizes the importance of bringing our sorrow to God in prayer so He can relieve us of its burden.
Young men constantly meet with setbacks and difficulties, and it's easy to get discouraged and give up. These are not only unmanly responses, Schultz suggests, they are sinful attitudes, and Practical Happinessis his way of offering advice for rejoicing in Christ even when the world seems to be conspiring against us. Like Schultz's other books, this one is primarily for young men, but its down-to-earth and biblical wisdom makes excellent reading for parents and young women as well. The discussion questions at the end of each (short) chapter make it a great choice for family devotions.
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