Finding happiness away from sin

Much of our church started The Gospel Project earlier this month. It will take us 3 years to get through the entire bible.

This is week three. We spoke about sin. I like that our preacher pointed out how if we say “no” to the things that we think we want, God will have a better “Yes” in store for our future.

Pointing fingers at the sin of others

Much of our discussion made me think of an acquaintance who struggles with alcohol addiction. This person seems put out that I never serve alcohol at get-togethers or when I ask him to leave my house if he shows up while under the influence.

I do care about this person. It hurts to see him miserable as the thing he “thinks” he enjoys is actually ruining his life. His addiction has cost him closeness to his family. It has cost him steady employment. And it is costing him his health – both physically and mentally.

His judgement is clouded. He drinks to celebrate then struggles to pay his bills. He drinks his troubles away when he is sad, only get in arguments with those he cares about. He will not realize the next day how bad things got. All he remembers is that relaxing buzz he felt as the alcohol began to take over.

The best advice I can give this person is to suggest that he find less destructive ways to be happy. But he looks at me like I am crazy. He loves his family, but how can playing a game or quietly watching a movie with them compare to cracking up with his buddies? How can reading a book or finding a calm place to meditate and reflect on his life relieve stress?

Pointing fingers at myself

While pointing fingers and thinking of how this person is messing up his life, I realized that I am guilty of the same thing.

I do not have an expensive addiction. There are many family friendly g-rated ways that I like to unwind and enjoy spending time with my family. I think I am a good person. But still, I have my weaknesses where I choose quick and convenient fun over what would be truly fulfilling. …

How often have I responded to stress by staying up late watching Netflix? The next morning I can add tired grogginess to my list of problems that have gone nowhere. With even more frustration running through my system, I am that much more likely to snap and say or do something I will regret.

That time would have been better spent focusing on the spiritual side of things then making a plan of action to tackle whatever problem I am up against. … It may sound┬ásilly to those of you who haven’t done this. But it is a much more fulfilling feeling to re-center yourself, knowing that God is on your side and that you will be ready to take on the world again tomorrow.

How often have I let lust for money or wanting somebody to like me cloud my judgement. Leading to decisions that not only go against what God would want me to do but also leave my body exhausted and make me feel ashamed because I strongly believe that I should be leading by example. How can I lead by example when I am busy trying avoid situations that would reveal my bad choices?

I am working on these things. It will help if I can follow my own advice that was given to the friend with an addiction to alcohol. I need to at least try and replace these wants for things that will leave me with feelings of waste or shame with a desire to do that which is more fulfilling.

Doing the right thing pays off!

My grandmother suffers from dementia. Although I love her dearly, a part of me dreads going to check on her every day. “What if she is having a bad day? I am already behind on my own stuff. I do not want to spend my lunch break taking care of her.” Funny thing is, by the time I leave her house I always feel really good about whatever I have done. Whether it be reminding her to eat and helping her get dressed on a bad day, or doing a fun activity and getting to know something new and interesting about her on a good day.

 

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