This past weekend, John and I were in Katy, TX so he could present a seminar about counseling. He referenced something from Dr. Larry Crabb that really, really stepped on my toes. Speaking about our struggle with personal problems, Dr. Crabb said the “usual objective so passionately desired is fundamentally self-centered: ‘I want to be happy.'”
While there isn’t anything wrong with being happy, we won’t ever truly BE happy if simple happiness is our goal. But…if we “firmly and consciously, by an act of our will, reject the goal of becoming happy and adopt the goal of becoming MORE LIKE THE LORD” – that will lead to true happiness.
So, practically speaking: when we are trying to resolve a conflict, or deal with frustrating current events, or communicate with a difficult friend—how do we handle ourselves? With sarcasm? Pouting? By withholding love? Cynicism? All in the name of being happy? As our son used to say, “What kind of sense doesn’t that make?”
The next time we try to address any of our issues, what if we decided to be more like the Lord – with the heart of a servant, humbly thinking more of others than ourselves, loving unselfishly, and forgiving—sometimes without even being asked? (Read the letter to the Philippians, especially 2:1-9.) Most likely, the result will be much more satisfying, even though we are denying ourselves the “pleasure” of pouting. Like everything else in life, if we do things God’s way, it will lead to peace and joy, the very goal we began with.
My new mantra for the rest of 2020 and beyond is this: More Like the Lord. I hope you’ll join me.