It only makes sense that everyone should be allowed to be happy. Right?

As a pastor, I talk with people all the time who are at a crossroads in life. They are unhappily married, at a job they hate, unfulfilled, and searching for that magic genie in a bottle that will give them what their heart desires. Here is the problem, though, when you are trying to give advice to someone who is unhappy, the only thing they believe will fix them is getting what they want. They rarely want bad things, it’s often just a new job, a relationship that fulfills them, or kids that will obey. Not always, but I have found a consistent theme in happy people that unhappy people just can’t believe no matter how many times you tell them.

Happiness finds you when you’re not looking for it

Happy people aren’t happy because they finally got what they wanted, they are happy because they faithfully work with what they have. I know if you are currently unhappy you don’t believe me, but it’s true. Happily married couples could easily list the things that annoy them about their spouse. Successful people could quickly tell you what they hate about their career. But they’re not happy because they don’t have problems, they are happy because they are happy enough.

[bctt tweet=”Happy people aren’t happy because they lack problems, they’re happy because they are happy enough.” username=”jasonisaacs”]

The truth is; the voice inside your head convincing you the “new” thing will make you happy is lying to you.

“Gaurd your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” -Proverbs 4:23

It’s interesting the Bible doesn’t say to follow your heart. Instead, it says to “guard” it. Why? Because our hearts lie to us, trying to convince us that we need something else to satisfy us. Like kids who can’t find their new Christmas toys on Dec. 26, we keep falling for that lie over and over again. The truth is, what we think is happiness is really just excitement. New relationships, jobs, cars, and homes are all exciting. The problem is constantly seeking excitement forces us to keep raising the stakes until ultimately we make a mistake that costs us big time. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. A spouse who thought sex with someone else would make them happy, a mom who thought a less stressful life without her kids, and the list goes on and on. The common denominator after every new exciting change in their life is unhappiness. Because happiness doesn’t meet you at the next place, it finds you in the middle of contentment.

Look at what the rest of Proverbs 4 says:

“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet, stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked, keep your feet from following evil.”

Unhappy people think the safe path is boring, but happy people treasure it. Believe me, your 25th wedding anniversary will make you happier than your 3rd wedding day. A paid off mortgage will make you happier than bigger closets. Guard your heart. Take the safe path. Happiness will find you when you stop searching for it.

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