I believe we are created to be loving, to be useful, and to thrive in the joy that comes from living obediently to God’s Word. So why do we often go so wrong and wind up with a miserable life? Dr. Chuck Wilson, a senior pastor in the United Methodist Church, recently gave a tongue-in-cheek, reverse psychology message about this topic.
He was a great mentor in my young married and parenting life, and I found this message to be purposeful in fatherhood. If you insist on an existence of misery, here is exactly how to have one. And here’s hoping that you will do exactly the opposite.
1. Dwell on your troubles.
“Poor me. Nobody understands my troubles.” Be sure to insist that your own troubles are more troublesome than those of others and, by all means, focus only on your own misery.
2. Develop hypersensitivity.
Be constantly on the lookout for people who slight and hurt you. Do not share with others what has happened, but instead insist they read your mind by supernatural powers. Then be offended when nobody stands up for you. Don’t voluntarily participate in church and community life but do get very offended when you aren’t included.
3. Nurture the grievances in your heart.
Never let anything go. Refuse to bury the hatchet. Use any grievances against you as excuses to behave badly and to take revenge on others.
4. Avoid responsibilities.
Refuse all opportunities to serve. Tell people you are over-committed or you aren’t gifted enough. The best thing to do is be a parasite and live off the community, live off the church, but never attempt to contribute.
5. Be critical of everything.
Look for the flaws in everything and everyone and have an opinion on all of them. Just flat out disagree with everything and make sure everyone knows exactly what you don’t like.
6. Insist upon your own rights.
Don’t worry about how this affects others. Just make sure nobody uses you as a doormat (if you have to step on others to ensure that, so be it). Treat all with great suspicion and watch others like a hawk. Look out only for number one.
7. Spend your money on yourself.
It’s yours, you worked hard for it, so why consider giving it away? For appearances, give just a little away so people think you’re generous, but hold onto almost all of it and spend it on yourself. Whenever a church or a charity asks for some, say, “Money, money, money. All these people ever want is money.”
Earn some points: If you are married and your wife is struggling, share this iMOM article with her: When it Doesn’t Feel Like You’re Making Progress.
Sound off: What are some of the ways you bring joy and purpose to your family?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How can you best bring joy to someone’s life?”