What does it really take to be happy in life? While there may be many definitions of “happy”, I think there are some habits/patterns/ruts we fall into that keep us from experiencing joy, peace and fulfillment in life. Let me present four that we should all consider giving up for good – our own good, and the good of those around us.
1. Give up your right to run your own life. The original sin of Adam and Eve was that they chose to be the masters of their own life/destiny rather that allowing God to. They fell for Satan’s lie that God was holding out on them, and that they should have the right to run their own lives and make their own decisions independently of God’s influence. That didn’t work out very well for them, and it never works out well for us either. Every morning of our lives we have to make a conscious choice to follow God, or follow our own way – to live life with our face toward God or our back.
Matthew 16:25 – For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
John 10:10(b) – I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
2. Give up your need to always be right.There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for ourselves and for others. Is it really worth it? Is your pride/ego really worth alienating yourself from the friends/family you love most? Actually, no one is always right, every time, about everything. Seriously, take your insecurities to God and ask Him to allow you to see your value in Him, and not in feeling the need to always be right.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.
Proverbs 16:5 – Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
3. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. As a Christian, we must acknowledge that our Father is sovereign; that He is omnipotent; that He is the One who is in control. He made everything and everyone, and He has a plan for them. As our Shepherd, He is the leader and we are the followers. He decides where to go, and the sooner we relax and trust His plan, His leadership, His loving heart – the happier our life will be.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 16:9 – The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
4. Give up complaining. What good does it really do anyway? So, why gripe and moan about so many people and things. Do you think anything will change because you do? Will complaining about the things your wife does, or doesn’t do, somehow motivate her to change? Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it and respond to it. Just let it go. Trust God – He’s the only one who can really change things and people anyway.
Philippians 2:14 – Do everything without complaining and arguing
There you go.
Question is – will we really take deliberate steps, every day, to rid ourselves of these toxic “friends”? Are we going to trust God with the car keys to our life or insist on driving ourselves. Take a minute an meditate on this passage from Romans 8. Let Him speak to you about this issue.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Let’s work at it…………….as we are trusting Him.