Have you ever used something other than a hammer to do something where a hammer is normally needed? I may or may not have used my hand, a water bottle, a block of wood, and to my shame, a shoe. We tend to grab what’s quick and easy, just to find out it was neither.

In our lives we often hear things like, “just do what makes you happy” or “happiness is the goal”. This cultural belief can often be the quick and easy thing we grab for but, in the end, we are left wanting. We have to find out that shallow happiness, while a quick and easy fix, doesn’t really get the job done. 

When we use a tool for its true purpose, we find contentment in the job it does. Happiness was never meant to be the thing that fills, it was meant to be a product of fulfillment.

When we make healthy choices, our body, mind and spirit work as they were designed. When God created the earth and said “it is good,” He said this because it was as it was designed to be. It was healthy, it was Holy and in response, He was happy because it was good.

We can all think of how to be happy for a while. We can watch something, eat something, drink something, but if those things are not helping our purpose, they will be short lived.

Momentary pleasures have become a staple of our world. This is not news to us; we get things quickly because we don’t want to wait. Interesting fact though, waiting for things is the practice of becoming patient. In a fast-paced world, maybe waiting is a path to happiness, because being patient is sometimes the healthy choice.

In this life we will all find times of sadness and depression, fear and anxiety, shame and isolation. Those are sometimes very complicated issues and grabbing for the closest thing is not going to equal lasting happiness. You are not alone; God has a path for you to walk. You have a great calling.

We were created to love. Have you ever given your gifts, talents, abilities or resources for the good of someone else? When you did, maybe you were exhausted and depleted. At the same time, happy. That happiness is something you remember and fills you. That is purpose fulfilled. It’s not always easy but it was the healthy choice; it was holy purpose.

When you are in a hard spot and you need to fix some things, make sure you grab for the correct tools. When you find the right tools, learn to use them as designed. As I have experienced, try not to spend your time hammering out the issues of your life with a shoe.

Choose what makes you healthy; choose what makes you holy. True happiness will be the by-product, not the goal.

Rene Solis is Director of Koinonia School of Ministry. He can be reached at ksm@kcfchurch.org or by calling 559-582-1528.

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