Tips On How To Be Miserable
- 2003 16 Jan
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
happiness. The word "makarios" is usually translated "blessed," but it also means happy.
For examples, verses 6-9 give us the first four: "Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied. Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God. Happy are those who strive for peace -- they shall be called the sons of God" (Living Bible).
It just doesn't make sense to remain miserable when, if we obey God, we can be assured of being happy!
Dr. Bill Bright is founder and chairman of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 25,000 full-time staff and 553,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. Dr. Bright is also the author of more than 50 books. Dr. Bright recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to "Touch, Teach and Train" ministers around the world 24/7/365 at http://www.globalpastorsnetwork.org