The Starting Point for Happiness
By Rick Warren
“Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” Philippians 2:4 (The Message)
If you truly want to be happy in life, you’ve got to care about the needs of those around you—and move the focus away from yourself. That’s the starting point for all happiness.
Paul looks to Timothy as an example of someone who genuinely cares about others. Philippians 2:20-21 says, “There is no one like Timothy for having a real interest in you; everyone else seems to be worrying about his own plans and not those of Jesus Christ” (TLB).
Most people don’t get up in the morning and give their first thought to how someone else is doing. They’re often only concerned about their own problems. And that’s why so many people are unhappy with their lives! Thinking only about yourself eventually leads to misery.
If you want to be one of those rare, unselfish, happy people, you need to change your focus.
Putting your focus on others doesn’t come naturally. Most people don’t walk into a room and think, “Who in here needs my help today?” Instead, you think, “How do I look? Am I put together just right? What are people going to think of me?” So you have to intentionally train yourself to do the opposite of what you normally do—to shift the focus away from yourself.
I have to admit that it saddens me how many times I’ve missed the needs of people around me—even the needs of people I love—because I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t taking an interest in them. I hadn’t shifted my focus off myself. And because I wasn’t looking out for their needs, I missed the chance to help.
Philippians 2:4 says, “Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (The Message).
Instead of dwelling on yourself or grieving missed opportunities, spend your energy thinking about how others are doing. That’s where you’ll find happiness—in serving God through serving others.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Getting God's Word into your heart is essential if you want to live a life of integrity and experience God's blessings. Dive into his word with The Keys to a Blessed Life Scripture Cards. You'll discover his blessings as you: Claim God's promises for your life, Walk with integrity in your relationships, and Deepen your relationship with Jesus. This set of 52 artfully designed cards can be used to help you memorize Scripture. You can read each Scripture and then use the space on the back to make notes or write out the verse. You can also use them to minister to others. Give one to a friend and write a personalized note of encouragement on the back. If a Scripture really speaks to you, frame it! Put them in places where you can read them during the day for encouragement.