Last week I concluded my column by alluding to how frustrated we have become as a society. I suggested that our frustrations are related to our disrespect and dishonor for God and anything that is honorable, holy, pure and right.
Today, I’d like to begin by reminding everyone that frustration leads to misery and misery only leads us down the path of becoming more immoral and dishonest as a society.
There are many who believe we are the wealthiest and wisest generation to live on this earth. Yet, with all of our wealth and wisdom, our generation has a high rate of murder, divorce, drug abuse, child abuse and spousal abuse. And many people live in spiritual and moral decay.
I have come to believe that this behavior exists because this generation is filled with people who have become frustrated and miserable with their lives. They appear to be on the brink of self ruin.
Even though we’ve learned to mask the pain well, there is a great chance that one out of every three people you see every day is just a step way from a nervous breakdown — one thought away from giving up on hope for a better life.
As you’re reading this, you may be saying to yourself, “I’m not miserable.” If that statement is true, I encourage you to be careful who you associate with because I’m told that misery loves company.
Realizing that misery has the potential to increase the frustration of a society already facing spiritual and moral decay, I’d like to point out a few important lessons I have learned.
• First, it’s not the will of God for you and me to be miserable. Jesus declared, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (St. John 10;10)
An abundant life is not a miserable life. It is an honorable life that Jesus came to provide for all who are willing to follow him and the Kingdom principles he taught.
• Second, money can’t prevent misery. Jesus had an encounter with a certain ruler who was extremely wealthy and mistakenly believed his outward display of religion would grant him eternal life. The rich young ruler became full of sorrow and walked away from Jesus when his encounter caused him to realize he was not willing to exchange his temporary wealth for an eternal life of peace by following Jesus.
• Third, personal status can’t prevent misery. The Bible describes David as “a man after God’s own heart.” However, even his divine status as king could not prevent the misery that caused him to become distracted enough to develop a sinful relationship with another man’s wife and eventually have that man killed to cover it up.
The only remedy for the misery that can prevent us from becoming frustrated and thus distancing us from God is establishing a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus came so that you and I might experience an honorable life of joy and peace through a personal relationship with him.
Betton is the pastor of the Temple of Praise Church Ministries and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.