Are You Happy with Your Life?
WHAT is your purpose in life? In this time of frustrations and changing values, you may be like many who are seeking to make their lives a worthwhile contribution to mankind’s welfare, toward remedying the world’s ills. Activities of this nature cover a broad field, including health, welfare and educational work, conservation and antipollution efforts, civil-rights programs, peace movements and other endeavors.
On the other hand, you may be among those who concentrate on the things necessary for yourself and family, getting along as best you can without becoming involved in social or political movements.
Whatever the case, does your activity bring you real satisfaction and happiness? Does it work unselfishly for the good and the happiness of others? Is your activity sure to accomplish the desired purposes, unfailingly certain to bring about the results you are hoping for? Is it the very best thing you can do?
The Perfect Activity God Recommends
One may say, Who can be sure? Is there any activity that will do all these things? There is such activity, and it is going on today. It is an activity directed by God. Of all that he does it is said: “Do you attribute greatness to our God! The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice.” (Deut. 32:3, 4) All his works, dealings and arrangements are perfect. And he is doing a work in which he invites humans to participate. So it is actually a perfect activity. Of this an apostle of Jesus Christ said: “We are God’s fellow workers.” He further spoke of sharing in God’s activity, saying: “Working together with him, we also entreat you not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss its purpose.”—1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 6:1.
More than a million and a half persons are making God’s recommended activity their way of life, and tens of thousands are entering into this activity each year. These persons, known as Jehovah’s witnesses, are found in all nations. Since they follow the Scriptural pattern of morals and practice, theirs is undoubtedly the largest thoroughly unified activity on earth. Those who show concern for their fellowman and sincerely desire a remedy for mankind’s ills and problems will be very interested in this activity.
Of what does this activity consist? Simply stated, it is looking into the Bible, putting into effect its basic, straight principles, then informing others about it. Those engaging in this activity are living with the view that God’s Messianic kingdom will soon rule the earth, enforcing that kingdom’s righteous laws.
Most persons know of the prayer Christ taught, and many have prayed to God: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10, Douay) A careful examination reveals that this prayer actually asks for God’s kingdom to exercise power and bring about the perfect, righteous, healthful, peaceful conditions on earth that exist in the heavens of God.
To follow the Bible’s recommended way of life is not in itself difficult or complicated. It requires a person to do only the things that God originally created man to do. God says: “He has told you, O earthling man, what is good. And what is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?”—Mic. 6:8.
This is why Jehovah’s witnesses have taken up the activity God recommends. True, it requires effort, just as any worthwhile pursuit does, but it is most pleasurable. And some time is required to get knowledge of what is to be done, then to put it into effect, for it is not a ‘religion on the side,’ but a way of life. It entails right thinking (Phil. 4:8), cleanness (Ps. 24:4), industriousness (2 Thess. 3:10-12; Titus 3:14), hospitality (Heb. 13:2), concern for others (1 Thess. 2:8), preaching and teaching the truths of the Bible and the good news of the Kingdom to one’s own family and friends, and to others.—Matt. 28:19, 20; Eph. 6:4.
Benefits of the Perfect Activity
Why can this course be truly called a ‘perfect activity’? Consider a few of its effects and results.
It gives the individual a purpose in life. From a study of the Bible he realizes that God has a place for him in His purposes, that he can help others, and that there is a future for humankind under God’s kingdom. This hope is also a fine comfort, for it assures a resurrection for those who have died.—2 Cor. 1:3, 4; 1 Thess. 4:13.
It enables one to be a respectable, self-supporting member of society. The one who learns of God’s activity recognizes that he must work, taking care of himself and family to the extent that he is able, not relying on “welfare” if he can make his own way. He has incentive. (Eph. 4:28) Moreover, he can count on God to help, for the scripture says: “I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.” (Ps. 37:25; compare Jesus’ words at Matthew 6:25-33.) Applying Bible principles, he does his secular work or any other task “as to Jehovah,” with conscientious effort to imitate and please God, whose activity is perfect.—Col. 3:23, 24; Eph. 5:1; Rom. 12:17.
It protects from involvement in hurtful things. The person who acts in harmony with accurate knowledge of God’s kingdom is shielded from entanglement in political or radical involvements. The Bible says, very pointedly: “My son, fear Jehovah and the king. With those who are for a change, do not intermeddle. For their disaster will arise so suddenly, that who is aware of the extinction of those who are for a change?” (Prov. 24:21, 22; John 18:36; Jas. 4:4) Following the Bible’s principles keeps the individual in a neutral course with respect to arguments and controversies between others. (Rom. 12:18; Prov. 26:17) He is no lawbreaker or disrespecter of authority; thus he avoids suffering as an evildoer. (1 Pet. 4:15) He is safeguarded from questionable business practices and get-rich-quick schemes. (Heb. 13:18) Knowing that “God is not partial,” he is freed from prejudices of race or nationality. (Acts 10:34, 35; 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11) Such a person engages in the upbuilding activity of helping those who desire to know about God, but he refuses to enter into wrangling and angry disputes over matters of religion.—Acts 24:12; 1 Pet. 3:15.
It broadens the individual by accentuating his concern for others, gives him wider association as he speaks about the Kingdom to others. It assists his family in broadening their relationships, gaining new friends. In congregational Bible study meetings and in participating in the preaching work together, a close bond of love and unity is formed. As Jesus promised, one gets “a hundredfold now in this period of time, houses [of friends where one is welcome] and [spiritual] brothers and sisters.” (Mark 10:29, 30) Hospitality and human kindness are promoted.—Heb. 13:2.
The ability to converse is enhanced. In speaking to others about God’s purposes, one is kept alert, alive to the thinking and experiences of others. He ‘cleans up’ his language in line with the Scriptural command: “Let a rotten saying not proceed out of your mouth.” (Eph. 4:29) At the congregational meetings he learns to express himself, improving the quality and effectiveness of his conversation.
It affords education of the highest order. A knowledge of God and his principles is the most valuable education. The world has gone ahead rapidly in technological wisdom, but has failed in the field of human relations. The development of love, respect and consideration has suffered. Activity in the service of the Creator restores this most important quality. Jesus said that love for one another would be an identifying mark of his disciples, and commanded love for one’s enemies also, saying: “You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”—Matt. 5:43-48; John 13:35.
The family is protected from immorality. As the Bible’s laws regarding the respective responsibilities of husband, wife and children are clearly seen and love is expressed, the family unity is maintained. Each member of the family is respected; each one’s voice is heard when family problems arise, though the parents make final decisions. Thus there is mutual trust. Because enjoyment is found in family association, none feel forced to seek pleasures outside that may entail bad associations and moral delinquency.—Heb. 13:4; Prov. 5:15-18.
Mental and physical health are favored. One engaged in the activity of God’s ministry has peace of mind. He is secure. He knows that, if faithful, he has the recognition of others—of God and of Christian associates. He has a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment as he helps others. He is relieved of many fears. All this tends toward spiritual and mental health, with accompanying beneficial effects toward physical soundness. (2 Tim. 1:7) By engaging in the activity of calling on persons at their homes with the good news of the Kingdom, he not only exercises his mind in a refreshing occupation; he also gets physical exercise and a change of surroundings that promote one’s general well-being. The principle is expressed in the Proverbs: “A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism,” and “a heart that is joyful does good as a curer.”—Prov. 14:30; 17:22.
The apostle Paul said to the young man Timothy: “Bodily training is beneficial for a little; but godly devotion is beneficial for all things, as it holds promise of the life now and that which is to come.” (1 Tim. 4:8) On the apostle’s statement, Bible scholar Albert Barnes comments: “[It is beneficial] in every respect. There is not an interest of man, in reference to this life, or to the life to come, which it would not promote. It is favourable to health of body, by promoting temperance, industry, and frugality; to cleanness and vigour of intellect, by giving just views of truth, and of the relative value of objects; to peace of conscience, by leading to the faithful performance of duty; . . . it furnishes the promise of whatever is really necessary for us in this life.”
King Solomon, who had the gift of wisdom from God, tried many pursuits and observed all the activities of mankind. After years of such observation and experience, he wrote: “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments. For this is the whole obligation of man.” (Eccl. 12:13) Only by this activity can you be fully happy with your life.—John 13:15-17.