Can we just be happy?
Last night, I was struck by this huge question. I was pondering life with my best friend, my beautiful bride; and like everyday, we were considering, discussing and strategizing how we can do things better—you know…how to be better in life, better in ministry, better in Church, better in our finances, etc.
And then it hit me…why can’t I just be happy? Why am I not allowed to be content with who I am and what I produce out of the gift package and calling God has given me?
Then, it came in like a flood. It seems that everyday I’m living out of my discontent. I’m motivated by lack of joy. I wouldn’t call it that. I would normally call it drive, ambition, or being a visionary. But the truth is, I have structured my life in such a way that everything reminds me that I’m not good enough yet. That I’m always behind the curve. That there are limits and boundaries that judge me as inadequate.
Again, why can’t I just be happy? Why do I have to live in this constant tension between my shortcomings and discontentedness?
Without doubt, the Lord was showing me something brand new to His kingdom in this moment. I was being confronted by the unsaid belief that I’m supposed to dislike myself, just a little (or a lot), so that I can move forward into the new things God has for me.
I realized it for what it was. This was a lie!
As I thought on this, I turned to my wife and said, “Hey, let’s just be happy. The pressure of being something we’re not and pursuing things that may or may not have anything to do with who we are, keeps us under constant condemnation.”
Immediately, there was a witness in both of us that there is a spiritual oppression that gets attached to our need to succeed. It’s birthed out of our inadequacy…our faults…and our need to be accepted by greater peers.
Have you noticed this also? Everything in life tells you, “You’re not good enough. You’re not relevant enough. You’re too old. You’re too young. You’re not gifted enough.”
For most of us, this pressure for growth is birthed out of our brokenness rather than our potential.
I love how the Apostle Paul understood this problem and came to a different conclusion. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
There is only doing as the Lord leads and enables!
In other words, I can be content with who I am, what I’ve been given to do, and the sphere of influence I’ve been given. I can truly be happy no matter where I find myself. I am nobody else; I am only what God has made me to be and what He has given me to do.
Certainly, we can learn, grow, change and increase the level of our productivity and effectiveness. But, we can also be happy while doing it. And that’s the point.
You are saved…called…gifted…and have purpose. Do what God has given you to do. Enjoy it; be happy.
Let success remain in God’s hands. As the Word says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6)
You are only responsible for being; let God do the rest. If you do that, I promise you, you will always succeed.