Are You Getting the Happiness You Want?
WHAT are the things that make people unhappy? Most common is the inability to reach certain goals. Often there is a feeling of failure, resulting in frustration. Perhaps you have experienced this. You will probably agree that, to be fully happy, you must have a purpose in living.
However, a vague idea of your purpose will not bring success. Neither can it succeed if carried out in a haphazard or careless manner. You need “vision,” that is, guidance from a reliable source. All around us we see the results of following human wisdom: disorder, desperation and unrestrained violence. Actually, divine guidance is the only solution. Read how accurately the situation is described in the Bible at Proverbs chapter twenty-nine, verse eighteen.
The Bible tells us that its words are the words of God, and says: “The orders from Jehovah are upright, causing the heart to rejoice; the commandment of Jehovah is clean, making the eyes shine.” (Ps. 19:8) However, some persons are prejudiced against the Bible because of religious hypocrisy. But hypocrites are not following the Bible. If you follow the Bible’s principles, you will find that they are practical. For when put into practice they work.
UNHAPPINESS FROM IGNORING BIBLE STANDARDS
In a world that is quite unhappy, you likely know among your acquaintances some who have unhappy family lives. Doubtless you have observed that selfishness, misunderstanding and neglect have been causes. You see in such families untrained, frustrated, irritated children who have not received the love and direction they so much need.
Today the tendency is to make the family unit unimportant. But in your own experience, are not families much happier where there is family unity, where the parents are real friends to their children and direct them in the right way to go? Who established this wholesome arrangement of the family as the basic unit of society? Man’s Creator, God. And where is it actually a law that the family unit be kept strong? In the Bible.—Gen. 10:31, 32; Deut. 6:6, 7; Eph. 3:14, 15.
Many children, irritated by parental neglect, have turned to drugs and violence. But had the parents only followed the Bible’s principles on marriage and parental love, they might well have avoided such sorrows. Do you think it likely that the children would have gone the way they did if the parents had known and taken seriously the Bible’s advice: “You, fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah”?—Eph. 6:4.
Again, the Bible says: “Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) Today we see family life neglected because both husband and wife work, or husbands have two jobs. They choose to sacrifice family association and spiritual welfare for greater conveniences of life, often to give their children ‘more than they had.’
But does such concentration on material benefits bring happy results? No, it tends toward spiritual bankruptcy. In far too many cases the children, though provided even a college education, find their lives shallow and meaningless and are wholly unsatisfied. How Bible counsel would have benefited these families!
A SUCCESSFUL WAY OF LIFE
If you really take the Bible for what it says, you find that it presents the only practical, reasonable way in all avenues of life. For the Bible tells us how all of us ought to live and behave as humans. One of its writers 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?” What could be more reasonable than that? Should not everyone do these things? And if they did so, would not the earth be a happier place to live?—Mic. 6:8.
If you were asked the question, ‘Do you know whether you are living up to really right standards, or not?’ could you sincerely answer Yes? If not, you will delight in looking into the Bible and discovering its pure, beneficial standards. Then you can have real satisfaction and happiness when you begin to check your own ways and find that you conform more and more to God’s standards. It costs something in time and effort, but you will find your life becoming happier day by day.
In making such an investigation of the Bible you cannot rely on things that you have sincerely followed in the past through custom, religious tradition or professional counselors. Otherwise, why would conditions today be so bad, and why would the Bible say: “Quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God”?—Rom. 12:2.
God’s own Son knew, and he said: “Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.” (Matt. 4:4) Jehovah’s witnesses have found that, to the extent that they have measured up to the Bible’s standards, they have found happiness, freedom from frustration, a restoration of human dignity and the feeling of fulfillment—a real purpose in life. They feel that their life is more in harmony with the purpose that God had in creating man and woman.
They cannot keep this good news to themselves. They are happy with what they have found and know that others are also seeking happiness. God is not partial. He holds out the same happiness for anyone who sincerely looks into his Word of truth, the Bible.—Acts 10:34, 35.