The desire to be truly happy is most likely the deepest wish of every human being. When one asks how to achieve that state of happiness opposing ideas and suggestions are given.
Some think happiness is found by throwing off all restraints, by letting nobody boss them around. “No one is telling me what to do”! “No other person, organization or even the government has any right to interfere with my pursuit of happiness”, they may announce.
Others may look for happiness by accumulating “toys”. “If I just could have that car, boat, airplane… I know I would be the happiest person”.
Maybe it is a trim, healthy figure or fashionable clothes that would make you truly happy.
Just a brief look around will reveal whether these methods truly bring happiness. There are many people who seem to have it all, health, houses, and more money than they can ever spend – but are they happy? Sometimes it seems, that the more a person owns the unhappier he or she becomes. Ask the man who was stranded on an island all by himself, with everything his heart could desire and no laws and regulations but his own, whether he was happy. At best, his happiness lasted a short while.
Then there are those who do not concentrate on how they can make themselves happy but instead focus on the needs of others. Curiously enough, they have found true happiness! If you don’t believe me, ask someone like Mother Teresa!
One of my personal champions, Jim Elliott, a missionary to Native People in the jungles of South America penned these words:
“He is no fool, who gives what he can not keep, to gain what he can not loose”! Jim gave up a promising career to bring the life-giving Gospel of Jesus to a remote tribe. While pursuing his calling, he and four other sharp, promising young men literally “gave” their lives. Today, the men who killed Jim and his co-workers have come to know Jesus Christ and lead the Christian Church among their people!
By the way, for a manual of principles leading to true happiness read and meditate on Matthew 5:1-12.
© 1996 Volkhard Graf, YWAM Native Ministries
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