There’s a false assumption circling the earth that life is basically a neutral experience, meaning that if you do good, good will happen and if you do bad, bad will happen. If you want to be happy you have to do the things that make for happiness and if you choose badly and select the wrong things, you will garner unhappiness instead. It seems very logical and straightforward especially if you got convinced that humans arrived as part of a chain immediately following some intelligent apes. Life absent creation would of necessity have to function that way. But, and this is the mother of all buts, if humans beings were actually created by God, they would of necessity have the seeds of happiness and goodness built right into them. Then that elusive happiness for which the whole world seeks would emerge naturally by not doing those things that hindered it from happening as opposed to wearing yourself out in fruitless endeavors that never lead to the real McCoy! Truly then life is about what not to do instead of what to do…
God, in His word, is very clear about what not to do. I aint talking about not cussing and drinking and going out with girls who do. That sadly, is a surface level view of life made up by men who are wholly ignorant of spiritual matters. How silly and foolish would it be to think that life and happiness hinge on whether or not you had a glass of wine or said an occasional swear word or made mistakes of which the whole world is guilty. Religion and its multifarious rules for living produce the exact opposite of life. And, if you have been unfortunate enough to have learned to live that way, you know what I’m saying is true. Instead life, spiritual life is much deeper than that. It is more what you believe is true in your heart than it is your behavior and the sum total of your human foibles and missteps. Happiness follows obeying what God says not to do which leads ever naturally to life and fulfillment and growth, the pattern displayed by all living things.
For example, God says that because of the accomplishments of his son, He has made you righteous before him. As such, there is nothing you can do to add to that divine favor God has given you. It has already been freely given to you. Each time you seek to do good works to increase God’s favor towards you, you are now engaged in something God said not to do. Try as you will, you will never arrive at the place you are seeking because what you are seeking is a lie. Doing good works does not make your life happier. Believing what God said He did for you makes your life happier. Refusing to try to earn something from God makes your life happier. Have you ever noticed that when you are afraid of something, your behaviors improve a little as if you can somehow force God to take care of you? “If you get me out of……I will never…….again!” But doing so, you miss the point. God taking care of you is natural and to be expected. Being afraid He won’t is the perversion. If you want to be happy, do not try to earn favor with God. You can’t!
In a similar vein, God’s desire is that you accept the sacrifice of His son to cover every misstep you have ever made. Jesus Christ paid the price for every looney tunes activity you ever got caught up in. Because of that sacrifice, you remain sinless in God’s sight. You have a right to stand in God’s presence with no consciousness of sin, guilt or your shortcomings. That’s who you are and that is what you have. Spending your life in futile attempts to atone for your errors is the wrong approach. Again, it’s not what to do, but what not to do. Do not maintain a running consciousness of your shortcomings and mistakes. Do not catalog and consider your errors thinking it makes you humble. It doesn’t make you humble, it makes you weak and susceptible to more and more errors. No-one is weaker and more miserable than a perpetually condemned Christian! No-one! Thus your task, your challenge, once you get things straight with God (i.e. I’m sorry Father) is to immediately engage in the process of forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth to those things which are ahead. If you can do this and not do what God says not to do, you will find yourself overwhelmed with joy and happiness.
Life is supposed to be a joyful experience, not an arduous hanging on or surviving. If you are barely keeping your head above water I can assure you, you are doing something God said not to do either from ignorance or willful, stubborn rebellion based on your easily defeated human logic. It doesn’t matter how you feel, it matters what God said is true. Sin is simply missing the mark or the bullseye. When you miss the bullseye you lose instead of winning. BUT, you don’t hit the bullseye by never sinning again, you hit the bullseye by accepting God’s savior from sin. God knows you and He knows me. He sees through all of our foolishness; all of our rebellion; all of our human tendency to step aside and loves us anyway. He knows we are going to blow it and has already made provisions to cover us. Your man-made provisions will only leave you empty and defeated. It aint about you, it’s about Him!
Your best chance at happiness and peace and love is to learn for yourself what God says not to do. Get rid of the hindrances, the obstacles, the chains that drag you down and see if you, like a pretty flower won’t grow and blossom into something beautiful. Living things thrive when the obstacles to their growth are removed!
You are God’s created being and as such are due all of the happiness and blessings that you can handle, not because of how good you are but because of how good He is… Learn what not to do!
Just some good thoughts…