This is the 5th of our 14-week free program, where we provide Lesson #5, on false gods and false happiness. Here are some questions to consider:
- What is “it” that you think will make you happy?
- Does “it” bring you true happiness?
- What do you spend most of your time on? Or money on?
Johnny Lee sings a song called, “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places”. I believe most of us are guilty of that…in addition to looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I heard not long ago…we can never get enough of what we really don’t need. Think about that in your life. What are those things that you’re chasing, that you think are going to make you happy?
I’ve identified them as the 4 Ps, prominence, possessions, pleasure, and people. Let’s explore each:
- Prominence – if we’re honest, most of us want to stand out, to be noticed. Prominence makes us feel respected and admired, held in high esteem, and most importantly, loved.
- Possessions – houses, cars, clothes, gadgets, etc. It doesn’t matter the socioeconomics, we all value “stuff”. One indication of this is the amount of personal debt many people have, living way beyond their means.
- Pleasure – is dependent on specific circumstances. Unlike joy, pleasure only takes place in the moment. Once the act creating the pleasure is over, the pleasure is gone. It’s fleeting.
- People – whether we realize it or not, many of us turn others into false gods. They can be the rich and famous or those close to us. Neither is healthy and without fail, we will eventually be disappointed and often deeply hurt.
Here’s the truth, all of the above are false gods, bringing us nothing but false happiness. None of them will ever satisfy you on a long-term basis. Each is fleeting.
Have you ever heard the story of the old man in the hospital, lamenting to his family while looking back on his life? He wishes that he had spent far less time at work. The clear inference is that if he had it to do over again, he would have been home much more, with those he loved.
The fact is that the only thing that is going to bring us true happiness is our relationships. We are made for community. We are made for friendship. We are made for authentic relationship. Although family and friends are vital, there’s no more important relationship we can have than with Jesus Christ, the source of all Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment.
So, what do we do about it? Here’s what I would suggest:
- Think about the following questions. Take them to prayer. We can only understand an issue if we identify it. Ponder (think/pray) the following:
- What are the things that you idolize in your life? What do you spend most of your time and money on?
- Why do you spend your time (and money) this way? Not the surface answer, but truly “why”?
- Do these things bring you true happiness…peace, joy, and fulfillment?
- What do you think is missing in your life?
- Whenever you’re doing whatever you’re doing, always ask yourself “why”? Why are you doing them? Is it going to make you happy long-term, or will it be fleeting?
- Watch this Friday’s video on this same subject….it will be emailed to you.
Please join us next Wednesday for Week #6 when we talk about Life’s Tragedies. As always, please feel free to get to me with questions, comments, or concerns at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Week #1 – Being Overwhelmed
Week #2 – Earning the love of others
Week #3 – Lack of self-love
Week #4 – Fear
Week #5 – False gods, False happiness
Week #6 – Life’s Tragedies
Week #7 – Wounds, Resentments
Week #8 – Discovering God’s Love
Week #9 – Forgiveness and healing
Week #10 – Becoming the best Possible You
Week #11 – Path to Peace
Week #12 – Finding your Purpose
Week #13 – You were made for Greatness
Week #14 – True Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment