Do You Truly Want to be Happy?
by Brett Rutherford
Are you finding that life is not bringing you the satisfaction and contentment you had hoped for? Are you feeling down? Is your relationship with family members strained? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions above, then please read on.
Pursuit of Pleasure
Many people have been deceived into believing that the pursuit of pleasure is the key to true happiness. They think that the temporary high they get from gambling, recreational drugs,, alcohol, free sexual expression, and even sport and will give them a lasting sense of satisfaction and contentment.
Have you ever considered the fact that the pursuit of a quick thrill is not the key, to lasting happiness? Please consider for a moment the following activities:
The desire for more money that leads many to gamble only brings more pain and suffering. Gambling establishments are not in the business to lose money. They use the population’s desire for more money to rob them of the little money they possess. Donald Trump is a big investor in casinos around the world, but he does not gamble. What does that tell you about Donald Trump? Despite what you may think of Trump, he is a smart business man. He is not going to lose his fortune to an industry determined to take away his billions. However, he is willing to invest in that same industry that is going to deprive millions of people of their hard earned cash.
Gambling is guaranteed to ruin your life. It can take away your possessions. It can destroy your relationships with your husband/wife and children. It will not bring you lasting happiness. Please don’t be fooled by the television advertisements that tell you that “life could be a dream” if only you would buy a lotto ticket. The reality is, that life will become a nightmare if you get hooked on gambling. Just think for a moment of what you could have done with all the funds you gambled away. If you are like most gamblers you probably don’t even know how much you have lost.
Recreational Drugs and Alcohol
What about recreational drugs and alcohol? What will they do for you? There is no doubt that recreational drugs and alcohol give a temporary buzz, but the long-term effects are devastating. People often mention recreational drugs and alcohol separately because most people do not classify them as the same thing. However, alcohol is a drug. It is an addictive chemical mixture that gives one a high and then results in the body crashing a few hours after its consumption. It is true to say that the number one drug problem in this country is not ice, marijuana, cocaine or heroin; the number, one drug problem in this country is alcohol.
Have you ever thought about the word “intoxicate”? We often use the phrase “to be intoxicated” as a substitute for the phrase “to get drunk”. The word “intoxicate” is made up of two words: “in” and “toxic”. We know when we see the word “toxic” on the label of a bottle it means that the contents of that bottle are poisonous. According to the Australian Oxford Dictionary the word “toxic” means “of or caused by poison”. Therefore, when we drink alcohol we are poisoning our body.
Another danger in trying to find lasting happiness from drugs is the addiction factor. After a while, illicit drugs are no longer effective in giving the taker a high, however, the user must keep buying the drugs because he is addicted. The drug user gets to the point where the drug is no longer purchased to bring him pleasure, but to avoid the pain of withdrawal. He has essentially become a prisoner of his habit. Additionally, illicit drugs continue to damage the user’s body and his bank account.
Sporting and Recreational Activities
What about pursuing organised sports? Sport is not like the other temporary pleasures we have mentioned in this tract. There is certainly nothing wrong with getting together with your mates to support your favourite club. There is nothing wrong with engaging in the occasional extreme sport, such as skydiving or bungee jumping. These can all be fun activities that usually cause no lasting harm to the body. Of course, there are risks. The greatest danger of sports is when it becomes an obsession or an addiction. Parents can ruin their children’s lives by pushing them to become the next football superstar. Very few people become professional elite athletes. Parents are better off preparing their children to be hard working members of society.
The other danger with obsessing over sports is that you can begin to neglect the people that should be most important to you - your family. Sports is a wonderful activity if the participant only views it as an avenue of fun and exercise, but it should not become our number one priority. This latter attitude toward sport will result in stress and suffering.
Free Sexual Expression
The pursuit of pleasure through free sexual expression is widely promoted in our modern society. This presents its own problems. It is often the cause in the breakdown of relationships. It can lead to addictive and destructive behaviour. It can cause unwanted pregnancies. It can hurt innocent people. It can cause disease. It never results in lasting happiness. Buying into the fictional Hollywood view of sex will result in a lifetime of unpleasant realities.
The Key to True Happiness
True happiness is not found in drugs, gambling, sports, or free sexual expression. True happiness is found when we learn to love and give. Real satisfaction is found in sacrifice. Remember, the last time you gave to a good cause? Do you remember how good that made you feel to help someone in need? That feeling of giving will always be with you. Indulging in selfish, pleasures will not give you, that lasting positive reinforcement.
The Bible has been encouraging mankind for the last two thousand years to pursue the lasting happiness that comes from giving of yourself. Many people believe the Bible restricts our happiness, but the opposite is true. The Bible is actually the best book for guiding us away from self-destructive behaviours. If we truly follow its guidelines we will be healthier in mind, body and soul.
If you commit yourself to following the Bible you will be happier, and you will make those around you happy. You will have “...the peace of God, which passes all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7).
Those who have not fully given themselves over to the guidelines of the New Testament of Christ do not understand the immense joy that can be found in God’s Word (the Bible). Let us help you find true happiness and purpose.