Happiness—What Is the Key?
“IS YOUR life full of problems?”
Many would answer, “It certainly is.” Would you say the same thing?
Even with the balanced realization that all of us have some happiness or pleasures in life, we may still feel that problems overshadow our happiness.
The problems can be varied. For many, their main problems relate to money—inflation, bills, job insecurity, affordable housing. You may have seen, though, that even those who seem financially secure may be robbed of happiness by family or marriage problems. Many young persons suffer troubles involving sex, alcohol or drugs. And poor health or loneliness often saddens the elderly.
Some persons may dream, ‘If only there were a simple key to happiness.’ Likely you appreciate, however, that there are few easy, instant solutions to our problems. Yet abundant evidence shows that there is a key to achieving happiness.
WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE PROBLEMS?
Many persons are desperately seeking expert advice on how to avoid problems and thus not be robbed of happiness. Some turn to advice columns in newspapers. Or they read the latest self-help books. Others seek help from an older person, someone who is expected to be more experienced and wiser. (Compare Proverbs 20:29; Titus 2:3, 4.) While there may be some benefit to be gained in that way, there is another source of help that logically holds more promise of leading us to true happiness.
That source is mankind’s Creator. Is it not true that no psychologist, marriage counselor, author or newspaper columnist knows more about life than he does? He created our first human parents, so he has a thorough knowledge of our physical, mental and emotional makeup. One ancient writer accurately said: “Know that Jehovah is God. It is he that has made us, and not we ourselves.” (Ps. 100:3) Better than any doctor or human counselor, our Creator knows what is going on inside us. He knows why we do the things we do and what can really make us happy.—1 Sam. 16:7.
We can also consider God’s experience. He is not limited to a relatively few years of experience, as even the best of human advisers are. He has been observing all human problems since the time of the first humans. He knows the total of human failures and successes. The Bible reports: “From the heavens Jehovah has looked, he has seen all the sons of men. . . . He has gazed at all those dwelling on the earth. . . . He is considering all their works.”—Ps. 33:13-15.
But even with that, we ask:
WHAT IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS?
To state it pointedly, The key to real happiness is to do things God’s way.
What does that mean, though? What should we really do?
Well, it certainly does not mean adopting some religious holier-than-thou attitude or assuming a mere outward show of piousness. That neither produces true happiness nor brings God’s approval. (Matt. 23:2, 25-28) Rather, we need to accept God’s counsel set out in his written Word and then strive to apply it—that is the key to lasting happiness.
Our Creator knows intimately what will make us happy or what will spoil our happiness, and lovingly he has revealed such matters in the Scriptures. Accordingly, to find increased happiness, we must try to do what God there says is good and avoid what he counsels against.
This does work. There actually are millions of persons on earth right now who know it for a fact. No, they are not isolated from life’s problems or immune to them. They have problems in life. But because of trying to do things God’s way their problems, in many respects, are fewer and less severe than those of people in general. If you would like to hear some personal testimony about this, speak with Jehovah’s Witnesses in your area.
You will find that they know from personal experience the truthfulness of what is said in the Psalms, where we read:
“Happy is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked ones, . . . But his delight is in the law of Jehovah.” “The law of Jehovah is perfect, bringing back the soul. The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise.”—Ps. 1:1, 2; 19:7.
Let us confirm that. How? By examining briefly how these reminders can help you and others to cope with and overcome some common problems. As you consider the following article, see if you do not concur with this truth: The key to real happiness is to do things God’s way.