Okay, so I have been accused a few times for purposefully writing something to offend someone. I can honestly say that I have never used this outlet as a place to hurt or offend, but today that changes.
This post will offend someone. Probably more than one person. Even as I write it, knowing what I’m going to say, I can’t help but get a little offended.
So take this a warning. If you don’t want to read it, stop here. Don’t go any further. I will not make apologies for what I’m going to say. If you think this is about you, you’re probably right, but what you need to remember is that this is really about me. And Him.
Okay, so I’m assuming if you’re still reading then you are okay with having a little honest truth thrown your way. So here we go.
You do not deserve to be happy.
I’m going to say it again, YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE HAPPY.
Let it sink in for a minute. Are you mad yet? Should you have stopped reading when I told you to?
I am so tired of people telling me I deserve to be happy. While you may mean well, as you let the lie fall from your lips, the truth is you’re giving away the worst advice you ever could.
When you tell someone they deserve to be happy, what you’re really telling them is that their feelings mean more than someone else’s. I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with that. My happiness, your happiness, should never mean more than someone else’s. That’s absurd.
So what happens when you begin sharing this advice with someone? Well, let’s be honest, I’ve heard this advice for years. Years. Even before I understood it. I’ve even given it to my own children. We mean well, but letting my 5 year old know that he deserves to be happy translates into he should have/do/get whatever it is that makes him happy. At all costs because, well, ‘you deserve it’.
Who said that? Who decided that we deserved to be happy? It’s not a right. It’s not a guarantee. And quite frankly it sets people up for failure.
Because when we start to become unhappy. When things aren’t working out the way we expect them to, well then we become disappointed. We begin to point our finger to someone or something else. “It’s their fault, because I deserve to be happy.”
Soon, it becomes all about ourselves. Soon we begin to make choices and decisions that only benefit us. It consumes us. We are all we can think about. Every choice we make is motivated by our expectation that we deserve to be happy.
But here’s the kicker. When you begin to focus on deserving to be happy, you begin to notice all the things in your life that make you unhappy. Then when you can’t change it or fix it (because, remember you can’t change anyone else) then you get unhappy. So the thought of being happy suddenly creates the emotion of always being unhappy.
You don’t do well with others. You can’t give yourself away the way you’re supposed to. You become self-centered. Me! Me! Me!
And what if you’re in a relationship where two people equally believe they deserve to be happy because that’s what they’ve been told their whole entire life. ‘Live life for you!’ ‘God wouldn’t want this for you. He would want you to be happy!'(um, what??!!) ‘You deserve better!’ Etc. Etc.
Then who’s right? Out of those two people who deserves happiness? Because unfortunately it can’t be both, especially if one’s happiness makes the other unhappy, right? So who wins? Who gets to be happy? Who deserves it more?
Are you ready for this? No one. There can’t be a ‘winner’. There won’t be a ‘winner’. When you expect to be happy because you deserve it, you set yourself up never to be happy. Even worse, I believe the only way to be happy is to not live for yourself, but rather, to give up living for yourself. Instead of living life thinking you deserve to be happy, I think we should live life asking ourselves what we can do to make someone else happy.
Better yet, we should be asking Him what we can do to make Him happy.
Think about that for a minute. Let that thought sink in. Imagine what life could look like.
The truth is God wants us to be happy, but not with things of this world. Not with money. Or expensive things. He doesn’t want our happiness to come from our job or even our family. He wants our happiness to come from Him and Him alone. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t want us to have those blessings, but He wants to make sure we know who gives them to us. And He certainly doesn’t want us to think we deserve it.