“So as a Christian, what makes you happy? You don’t smoke and you don’t drink. You can’t run after women like I do. Sometimes, I really wish I could put myself into your situation and feel how you feel for a day.” That was what a friend told me some few years back. Upon pondering over it for some months, I really got to understand why he was thinking that way. He believes Christianity is boring. He believes happiness is all about ‘bottles’ and ‘bottoms’.
To be happy means to show pleasure or contentment. You could have everything on this earth but until you are content with it, you can never be happy. That explains why rich people are committing suicide and the poor man who hardly makes GH₵10 a day is still alive believing tomorrow shall be better. You don’t become happy because you have built a new house or bought a new car or just got married. Imagine you just bought new shoes from the boutique. You are happy with it till you got home and a friend asked you how much you bought it. You told him its GH₵100 and he tells you he bought the same thing the previous day for GH₵20. You take a look at his and it is exact thing. Your happiness instantly vanishes and you wish you could send it back for your money. What changed here? If he had told you he bought his own for the same price, you would have had a lengthy discussion about how nice the shoe is. You realised you have been cheated and you don’t like the shoe any longer.
A lot of people have been determining happiness by how others define it. He built a house, it doesn’t mean he is happy. He has a beautiful wife, it doesn’t make his house peaceful. Until the man is content with the kind of woman he has, he will never be happy with his marriage. Few months ago, I saw wedding videos and pictures of Afia Schwarzenegger. The man was dancing and Afia was heaping praises on him. Little did we know that all might have not been well. Human beings are very complicated and for that matter can laugh and look happy in order to hide their tears. Do you know that sometimes the sermons that Pastors preach is directed towards their wives and themselves? They have issues but the ‘joy of the Lord is our strength’, so they can’t complain.
Someone is receiving GH₵1000 a month and he has 2 kids at the senior high school and one other at the university. He never complains and he is always looking happy and even paying his tithe well. Another is receiving GH₵10,000 a month and he still receives bribes and awarding fraudulent contracts but he is still not happy. Why? He has been observing some people who have 5 cars and 3 mansions and he has come to believe that until he also gets 5 cars and builds 3 mansions, he isn’t successful. So this our man will pursue that to his shame or his grave.
The rich man in 2 Samuel chapter 12 decided to leave his over 1000+ sheep and take the one sheep of the poor man to prepare dinner for his guest because he thought his 1000+ sheep are not enough for him and killing one will affect the number so he went for the poor man’s sheep. His punishment? David said DEATH! That is also the reward for those who continually and selfishly pursue wealth in order to be happy. Chance or luck or grace as we Christians will put it pushes some people very quickly up the ladder and if you envy such a person, you are moving towards your own destruction. The number of manhours you will put into your work can’t get you to where he is. Set your own objectives and take your time and work towards it.
Your happiness shouldn’t be dependant on having what others have. Just be content with what you have now and continue working to increase it tomorrow and you will always remain happy.