Friday, January 6, 2017

Do LESS of what makes you happy

Last night on mine and David's nightly walks we started talking about how sad it is that our churches are getting smaller and smaller.  We actually have this discussion quite often.  He'd heard of, yet another, former church member who had departed from our faith... and all faith for that matter.  It's sad how un-shocked we both seemed.  News like that used to bring about emotions of sadness or apallment, but lately it's not surprising to hear this kind of news.  

We talked about why this was more common now than it used to be. So I told him about a pet peeve I have, one that I believe is the major cause for what we're seeing today. 

Let me start off by telling you my most hated phrase of this generation: 

Do more of what makes you happy.  

It's awful and deceiving.  

The biggest problem in the world today is self-love.  This attitude sounds like a great idea and seemingly harmless, but in fact it's what's leading to the distruction of our homes and churches.  It tricks us into thinking that if you're not happy, all you have to do is change and do more of the things that make you happy and *poof* you're happy.  

If you're tired of taking care of your family, then sit on the couch there and read a book.  

If your wife has gained a few pounds, forget diets, just go out and find you a skinny, younger gal to take her place. 

If you're not happy with how your husband chews his food, kick him to the curb and find you someone new... with different things to annoy you.  

If you're tired of hearing the preacher tell you how much you sin, you don't need that!  Wouldn't you be happier just sleeping in on Sunday morning?  Or better yet, maybe go to the golf course! 

This phrase that comes across as the best advice you've ever heard is leading God's people in the wrong direction.  They think they are finding happiness, but there is no happiness to be found under those circumstances.  Only a big mess and more unhappiness.  

Nobody is happy, and they can't figure out why! 

So some of you are thinking: "Wait, what about going to the gym, or getting a peticure, or taking an afternoon break from the kids?  What about my sanity??"

Calm down people.  Don't take this to the extreme.  Taking care of ourselves is very important.  If we don't take care of ourselves, it will be really hard to take care of our family or job or church obligations. Even hobbies are good. I have them.  We all do.  It's okay.  I'm referring to people that put aside their obligations and duties in favor of things that are frivolous and self-serving.  

Thankfully, God gives us a remedy for the unhappiness that is plaguing today's people.  However, most people don't want to hear it.  

The number one thing we need to be doing in this life is serving God.  Go to church, read your bible and pray daily... or more.  

The number two thing  we need to be doing is serving each other.  That means putting others before ourselves.  Take care of our families, visit friends and church members, let someone cut in line, let the BMW merge in front of you...  I'm talking to myself here, so don't go thinking I'm an expert at this.  I'm just as depraved as the next guy.  Most of the time I know what I need to do to serve someone else, but my stupid nature comes out and makes me do something selfish.  *sigh* However, on the rare occasions when I do what I'm supposed to do, and serve God the way I should, I have found those moments of pure joy.  I've seen it.  I've felt it.  I screw it up a lot... and then I try my best to get back to it.  When you're there, it's the most magnificent feeling in the world.  True happiness.  

So my advice... 

Do LESS of what makes YOU happy, and MORE of what makes God happy and others happy, and in the end you will find happiness.  

J-esus first
O-thers second 
Y-ourself last

Seems to spell out joy to me.  

Think about it. 


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