The key to happiness is changing your perspective
Have you ever heard the story of a man, who decided to join the orchestra of the emperor of China many years ago?
He couldn’t play a note and so every time the orchestra went to play, he would just hold his flute to his lips and pretend to play. He lived a comfortable life, with a modest salary.
One day, the emperor asked to hear a song played by each of his musicians. Of course, this struck the man with fear, because he knew he didn’t know how to play. So he pretended he was sick, but he didn’t fool the royal physician. On the day he was to play his solo, he took some poison and committed suicide.
It is from this man’s story where we get the English phrase, “he couldn’t face the music.” When I read this story recently, I asked myself, “Why did this man do all of this?” Perhaps he was looking for an easy life, for prestige or maybe he was just plain envious of others who seemed to have an inroad with the emperor.
Truth be told, you cannot be happy and envious at the same time. And so can I ask, “what is the one thing separating you from joy? How would you fill in the blank in the following sentence... “I will be happy when ________?” When I am promoted. When I’m married? When I am rich? How would you finish this statement?
Now, with your answer in mind, if your dream never happened, if your situation never changed, could you still be happy? The thing is, we often look for happiness in the wrong places. We tend to be envious and think, “if I was only like so and so... If I only had what that person has.”
But God says that the way you change envy is by changing your perspective. While you may not be able to do a lot about the feelings that encourage envy in your life, you can change how you look at things.
Now, to change our perspective of ourselves, we have to stop comparing ourselves to others. The Bible says satisfaction comes when we become satisfied with just doing our best, not comparing ourselves to the next guy. Galatians 6:4 says, “Let everyone be sure to do his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work done well and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.”
How about you? Do you tend to compare yourself to others? Are you constantly comparing what you have or do or are with what your neighbour has going for them?
The key to surviving envy, to living life a little less stressed out, is to make it a point to be the person God made you to be. When you do, you will discover real meaning, purpose and a sense of fulfillment, along with satisfaction. And you can’t do that when you keep focusing on what’s going on in that other person’s life.
When you spend your time envying someone else, all you are doing is wasting years of your life, and in the end, accomplishing nothing. Instead, let God be enough. In fact, allow how He made you and what He has blessed you with to be enough. If there is one statement that knocks the wind out of envy it’s this... GOD IS FOR YOU. Romans 8:31 says: “if God is for us, who can be against us?” God sent His Son, Jesus, to a cross, just for you. He did that for you. Just for you. He has a peace that consequences cannot steal.
And so, how have things been going lately? Have you been feeling a little green... green with envy? As you’re reading this, why not make the decision to change your perspective a bit. Remember that God is for you and let that be enough!
This column is submitted by Tri-Community Baptist Church in Beiseker.