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Do What Makes You Happy

Sometimes when life gets tough, we are told, "do what makes you happy." It sounds good as happiness is what we all long for, right? There's nothing wrong with seeking out your own happiness.

Hmm. Perhaps, but perhaps not. Happiness is a feeling. Feelings, although valid, can lead us down a destructive path if we're not careful. Film, TV, and social media often fill our heads with hopes, desires, and expectations of things we think might make us happy. Money, friends, travel, sex, attention, power, stuff... the list can go on and on. We might think that if we buy this thing, go to this place, or attain this position, that it will make us happy. Maybe it will, at least for a little while, however, it's likely we won't be content for long as we'll be looking for and chasing after the next big thing.

Instead of merely choosing to do what makes us happy, we must consider that feelings are fleeting and our momentary happiness may have a ripple effect (not always good) on what is truly best for our future successes.

This is especially true in relationships. When we first look to create our own happiness vs what is best for our partner or the relationship, it can create a roadblock and hinder the growth of the relationship.

I recently acted impulsively to a situation based on my feelings without any consideration to how it would affect the other person or our relationship. Instead of considering the possibility of damaging the foundation of what we had worked so hard to build, I did what I felt would make me happy. Conversely, I hurt myself, the relationship, and the other person. It wasn't happiness that was felt but heartache for all those involved.

Initially, my intentions were pure. I started with needing some one on one time with God. I knew breaking away from all the external voices was a must. The issue came when I allowed the tiny little voice of self back in: Self-want... Self-need... Self desires... It reminded me that I should also do what would make me happy. You see, that's how the enemy creeps in. He mixes truth with lies and if we cannot discern, or choose not to, the truth from the deception, we are in danger of letting the voice of self win.

I did get my one on one time with God and the things I learned about myself were life-changing. I recognized my areas of strength and weakness. I saw the things I needed to change in my life to become the best version of myself. I made a choice to choose love through humility and face my flaws, failures, and fears head on. Those are all good things. So what was the problem? How I made the decision and executed it. Even though I felt I was going about it the right way, I failed to separate the voice of truth and voice of self and still made some very selfish decisions. The feeling of happiness was momentary and the following struggles were very real. I did what I thought would make me happy instead of listening ONLY to the voice of truth.

Challenge: DON'T just do what makes you happy. Consider the ripple effects of your choices. Put God first. Think about all those who will be impacted by your choices. Choose love, mercy, grace, and humility. ALWAYS.

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