Do you want to be miserable?  Here are some tips on how to fulfill your desires.

 

The famed English writer, Charles Kingsley, once wrote, "If you wish to be miserable, you must think about yourself, about what you want, what you like, and what respect people ought to pay you.  Then to you nothing will be pure.  You will spoil everything you touch; you will make sin and misery out of everything God sends you."

 

Self-centered people are always unhappy.  In the 1970s, Chaplain Earl Jabay wrote a thought-provoking book titled, The Kingdom of Self, in which he describes seven attitudes of a self-centered individual. Permit me to share a few of them:

 

"I am power: I can do anything I set my mind to."

 

"I am truth: Whatever I think, is right."

 

"I am right: If people don't agree with me, they have a problem."

 

"I am a messiah.  I don't need God; I can lift myself by my own boot straps."

 

"I am perfect: If you don't meet my standard of perfection, I have the right to show disapproval."

 

Any one of these attitudes will result in a life of misery.  How much better it is to forsake the kingdom of self and live joyously in the Kingdom of God.

 

You see the fruit of misery everywhere, in crime, immorality, broken homes and on and on.  It almost always stems from self-centeredness and selfishness. It is always related to ignoring God and His commandments to self-sacrifice and to love.

 

I do not recommend misery, but I do recommend its opposites - joy and peace.  Joy and peace are states of mind and spirit that are promised by our great Creator God  and Savior to all who trust and obey Him. They are fruit of the Spirit -- the Spirit who indwells all those who put their trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.  That fruit is manifest in our lives when we invite the Holy Spirit to fill and control us.

 

In the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-11, our Lord gave us nine keys of