How To Be Unhappy
There is a simple, one-word, three letter instruction that, when obeyed will cause unhappiness, sometimes almost immeasurable unhappiness. Sin.
Genesis chapter 3 tells about the original sin of Adam and Eve. That one sin has caused all unhappiness that has ever happened to the whole human race. We are Adam*s seed. We are exactly like Adam and Eve spiritually. We inherit that from them. Do not believe that you or I would have been wiser or stronger than they were. We would not have resisted the temptation that they faced any more than they did. Had we been the ones in the Garden of Eden, we would have committed the same sin.
We have within us the desire to try to blame someone else for our sin. We*ve all heard that expression The Devil made me do it. He didn*t make us do it, he merely made the sin available to us. We did it.
Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
God always makes a way of escape so that we need not sin. Sin is always an unnecessary choice that we make.
1 Corinthians 10:13: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Adam and Eve both demonstrated that desire to blame someone else. Adam said in Genesis 3:12: The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Adam tried to blame Eve and he tried to blame God Himself.
Eve tried to blame the serpent.
Genesis 3:13b: the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
When I was a child, I stole a toy tractor from the Gamble store in the next block from where I lived. My conscience was so tortured that I hid that little tractor behind a tree between our house and the building next door. I did not enjoy the tractor for even one second. I did not play with the tractor. I didn*t touch the tractor. I didn*t even dare to go near the tractor. I thought if I did, someone would figure out I had stolen it. I was tortured by the idea that anyone and everyone might know what I had done. Everyone had become an enemy. Everyone had become someone to be feared. Everyone had become someone who might discover and reveal my deep unhappy secret.
I did not sleep well or enjoy any part of my life for 2 or 3 days. In order to put an end to the torture, I sneaked that tractor back into the Gamble store. When I walked out of the Gamble store I felt about 100 pounds lighter. I did not undo the sin. About all I did was remove the possibility of punishment. My young conscience was not really concerned about the wrong that I had done. I just didn*t want to be punished. There is a difference between guilt over wrong-doing and fear of punishment. As we grow older, we are able to wear down the guilt over wrong-doing to the point where we are not affected by it at all. We probably never get rid of the fear of punishment.
I do not remember any time in my life when I was unhappier than during the tractor incident.
When Cain killed Abel, he caused himself a lifetime of unhappiness. His not repenting and responding to God in faith caused him an eternity of unhappiness.
Genesis 4:13: And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
King Saul sinned in disobeying God*s commands. He was troubled by an evil spirit and the kingdom was taken away from him.
King David*s sin with Bathsheba caused him much unhappiness.
A rich young ruler went away from Jesus. Going away from Jesus always causes unhappiness and worse.
Mark 10:22: And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
The prodigal son was miserable when he was living in sin. He had great joy when he returned to his father.
Judas when he betrayed Christ said he betrayed innocent blood.
Matthew 27:3-5: Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
I doubt if there has ever been an unhappier man than Judas.
Proverbs 13:15: Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
How to be happy: Get your sins forgiven and washed away. When God forgives your sin, he removes both the guilt and the fear of punishment.
How much happier can we be without guilt and fear?