How to be Happy

Bill Brinkworth

The most miserable people on this earth are those that are selfish. The unmet needs or wants that many are trying to satisfy themselves never bring them happiness. Many times, they feel no one will give them what they desire, so they have to please themselves. The more they get, collect, hoard, or control, the more ungratified and empty they become.

The real secret to being content and satisfied is not to get, but to give. Certainly, you can remember when you did something unwarranted to help another. How did you feel? Most likely wonderful. We feel content when we help others. If they also have that attitude, and their minds are off themselves (which certainly does not happen as often as it should) we will have our needs met by others. Here is some of what the Bible says about how to avoid the miserablenss of selfishness and to be truly happy:

Make Christ your example. If you truly are a Christian, then you should want to be Christ-like. Christ was the son of God, and had all the attention, respect, and riches due to Him when He was on earth. Did he once demand any of the above? No, He did not. He came as a lowly servant, and spent His entire life here on Earth obeying His father and meeting the needs of others.
“ Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” Philippians 2:4-10

Meet others needs, and yours will be met. The world teaches the opposite. They instill in your mind that “you are the most important person”, and you should do whatever it takes to make yourself happy. That is why the world has produced generations of self-centered, unhappy, tormented people that try to gratify themselves anyway they can by getting, stealing, cheating, and deceiving. If you get your mind off yourself and put others’ needs before yours, they will want to help you and help meet your needs. If not, God will raise up someone who will. Here is what the Bible says about meeting your needs:
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” I Corinthians 3:8
“Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Do not give to get! Too many have the attitude, “If I give to you, then you owe me!” That attitude is unscriptural and will certainly leave you frustrated. Give things, time, love, and friendship without thought of payment or reward.
“And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Luke 6:33-35

See a need and meet it! Instead of sitting there and grumbling, “No one ever does anything for me”; think! When was the last time you did anything for someone just to be a blessing? This attitude will certainly keep you from feeling sorry for yourself, and will make you a help to others. A giving lifestyle like this will surely fight off selfishness.
“But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children , let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” I John 3:17-18

Wish well to others. There is a whole envious world out there that is jealous of what another has, does, or is. The Bible teaches us to be happy for their victories and blessings. Do not be bitter over another’s successes. Wish them well, and be happy for their good fortune. You certainly would want others to be excited when you do well. Can you imagine the impact this perspective would have in social events like sports. Instead of “booing” the competing side’s victories, you could cheer them on!
“ Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.” I Corinthians 10:24

 The biblical teaching of giving and helping others is certainly contrary to the world’s give and take philosophy, but their method certainly does not work. Many are depressed, ungrateful, and although they have much of the world’s riches, they are impoverished in spirit. Get rid of your selfish mannerisms and purpose to be a blessing to others. In return you will receive, something that money nor riches can ever buy — joy and contentment!

  Usually, he is most empty who is most full of himself. — Lawson


This lesson was featured in The Bible View #146.

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