We think we’d be happy if we received everything we ask for in life. Living the American Dream means fulfilling your purpose and desires in this lifetime – landing the right career, marrying the right person, having the happy family in the right neighborhood. There’s nothing wrong with the aforementioned goals, but the problem with it is that if you do not achieve a certain milestone by a certain date within your timeline, you could potentially set yourself up for misery. Herein lies the danger: you don’t feel happy until you reach that milestone.
What happens in the meantime? What if it takes so long to attain the goal that you begin to think it’s never going to happen?
Each human being has his or her own reason for being, but Jesus gives us the ultimate purpose:
“[W]hoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom to many.” Matthew 20:26-28
With His own life, Jesus demonstrated His reason for being, and that was to serve others, not to be served.
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work, we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than receive.’” Acts 20:35
The everlasting cure to your current unhappiness is living for Jesus. Serving the poor, helping the less fortunate according to your talents and abilities, and living to serve others for the common good will do more for your soul’s contentment than simply reaching the goals that satisfy you individually.
“For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:21
“No one should seek their own good but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:24
“Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” – Romans 15:2
“For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many, that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:33
There’s plenty of research to back up these biblical teachings. In a TIME Magazine article, Jenny Santi wrote:
Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Through fMRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it’s pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful.
Everybody who’s anybody in your life can benefit from a helping hand extended by you. They could be your friend, a family member, a colleague, a stranger, an old lady crossing the street, the beggar standing at the corner when you exit the freeway ramp… If you make it your mission to serve others with Jesus’s best interest at heart, you will have a rich and satisfying life!
“The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10
#happiness #commongood #Jesus #Christ #musingz4life #serveothers #serve