Are you unhappy? Are there things in your life that you wish you could change? Are there people in your life you wish would change? What about your circumstances right now? Do they make your life happy?
Most of the time we think our unhappiness is a result of somebody who is not doing something for us. We are unhappy because we’ve come to a place where our happiness is dependent on how we want others to treat us. It’s a dangerous place where everything revolves around us. We can come to believe that nobody in our lives is doing things the way we think they ought to.
But the real key to happiness is actually much different. In fact, it’s the opposite. Your key to happiness is not getting others to do things that make you happy. The key to happiness comes from doing something for somebody else. When we are able to step out of the center of our own lives and begin to focus outwardly on others, we will find that God’s blessing comes, and we become much happier people.
When I started walking with God, I made a serious attempt to make Him the very center of my life. But it was a very difficult thing to do. You see, the center of my life was already occupied…by me! I was a very self-centered, selfish woman. From my perspective, every decision, every conversation, and every relationship was definitely all about me.
I spent many unhappy years this way, and I know from experience what works and what doesn’t. Believe me when I say that I’ve tried everything to be happy, and I have discovered that the only way you can be really happy is to lose sight of you and all of your own interests. You must stop thinking about what you want and make an intentional effort to be a blessing to somebody else.
Notice I said “intentional effort.” This intentionality is important because most of the time, you aren’t going to feel like it. You are going to have to make the decision to consider the needs and desires of others on purpose. It will take some time to train yourself to think of others first—that’s just human nature. So until thinking of others first comes naturally, you are going to have to be intentional about focusing on someone besides yourself.
In Luke 10:27, Jesus boiled down the Christian walk into simple steps. And he replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus says in this verse that there are two things that we absolutely must do as Christians: Love God and love people. Notice that I said these are “simple steps.” But simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. I can tell you that loving God and loving others will not always be the easy thing to do. There will be times when these two things will require all the self-discipline you can muster. But if you can do them, you’ll prosper, be happy, your prayers will be answered, you’ll have power over the enemy, and you’ll enjoy deep peace and fulfillment in your life. You will also see God’s glory in your life on a regular basis.
If you are living with the attitude that it’s all about you, however, it is highly unlikely that you will ever come to the place of thinking of others first. You must deal with your attitude. Remember, you don’t achieve happiness by having others do things for you. True and lasting happiness comes when you commit yourself to helping and serving others before yourself. As much as you might want it to be about you, it’s really not all about you. It’s all about HIM! And when you begin to realize that, you can find the happiness you’ve been searching for.
Author/teacher Joyce Meyer has been helping people overcome life’s problems through biblical keys to practical Christian living since 1976. Her radio and television programs are broadcast throughout the United States and much of the world. For additional information, you may contact Joyce Meyer Ministries at P.O. Box 655, Fenton, Missouri 63026 or visit www.joycemeyer.org.