by Andrew Cromwell
Have you ever noticed that the more you try to be happy, the less happy you are? We do all we can to arrange our lives so our happiness is unchallenged. We avoid challenging conversations, side step important issues and generally insulate ourselves from things that make us uncomfortable. But even though we do all of this, we still find our goal eludes us.
Happiness makes a lousy goal. Think about it this way, if you are a parent and your goal is to make your kids happy...look out! You will be turning cartwheels all day long trying to achieve that impossible goal. You will buy them stuff they don’t need, taxi them to far too many places and ignore their bad behavior way too often. And all of this won’t necessarily make them happy, it will just make them spoiled, miserable brats.
If however, instead of happiness, your goal is to have healthy, well-adjusted children that leave your home and become responsible, contributing adults, you will treat them very differently. What you will discover is that they might actually experience MORE happiness because you give them stable structure, strong boundaries and a healthy dose of reality (like teaching them the world does not revolve around them).
We get this mixed up all the time. We forget that Father God’s goal for us is not to make us happy, it is to make us into the people He created us to be. It is not that we won’t be happy along the way, it is just that sometimes we need to be unhappy if we are going to learn the things we most need.
Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. God does not get his kicks out of making you miserable, far from it. He is not a cosmic sadist trying to figure out a way to ruin your life. The truth is God will pretty much leave you alone to experience the repercussions of your own behavior if you want Him to. Let’s be honest, we don’t need God to make our lives miserable, we do a pretty good job of that ourselves.
But if we do invite God into the equation, if we ask Him to be a part of our lives, we can be sure He is going to keep on working with us all the way until the end. That is what the Scripture says in Philippians 1:6. He will use ALL of the circumstances in our lives to give us character adjustments and make us into the people He wants us to be.
So stop trying to be happy. Instead, decide to live out your life to the fullest in the way God has designed you. Invite Him to adjust you, you will be better if you do!
The pastors in Kings County would love to see you in church this weekend. And I’m sure it would make Father God HAPPY too!