What was the first thing you thought of when you saw the title of this post? Was it money? A good job? A nice house in a nice neighborhood? Maybe it was to get married, to have children. These are all nice things, but this isn’t what I was referring to.
What is it we all want more than anything? What is it that everything eventually boils down to? Let’s take a look:
- When we’re infants, we long for our mother’s affection.
- When we’re toddlers, we long for our parents’ acceptance.
- When we’re grade-schoolers, we look up to our teachers. We want to be like them. We want them to think highly of us.
- When we’re in middle-school, we are very concerned about gaining acceptance of our friends, and popularity. In our minds at this age, the more popular we are, the happier we’ll be.
- When we’re of high-school/college age, we not only try to gain our friends’ acceptance, but we are looking for a mate – someone to spend our life with, show us affection, a lifelong companion.
- After college, we still like the companionship and acceptance of our parents and friends, but we are definitely on the hunt for a spouse by this point. We don’t want to be alone.
- When we find a job, we try to gain acceptance from our co-workers and boss.
- After we’ve found our spouse and settled down, our biological clock usually starts ticking and we long for children. We probably still long for acceptance from family, friends and even our spouse as we have before.
Let’s look at another aspect of this. We look for acceptance in not only people, but other areas such as:
- Money – “If I just won the lottery, I would be so much happier”. Ever had that thought? I admit I have in the past. Especially as a “poor college student”. Is money the key to acceptance? The key to happiness?
- Status – We feel that if we can climb the career ladder or gain a higher status in our community, we will be happier and people will want to befriend us. Status is almost the equivalent of popularity in high school. The higher our status, the more accepted we will be.
- Nice things – “If I could just afford a Volvo instead of this old car I’m driving….”, or “If I lived in a house like ‘the Joneses’, I would be happy.” Does having everything “the Joneses” have make us more accepted?
- Good looks – “If I just looked like such and such, I would have it all. I could do anything I wanted….” Is this true?
- Fame – Have you ever heard someone say “If you could have any celebrity’s life, who would it be?”. Are celebrities really all a 10 on the happiness scale because of their fame and fortune? It doesn’t seem that way to me.
- Youth – Does the thought of getting older sicken you? If only you could look like a 20-something forever, you would be happy. Have you ever thought that?
- Weight – “If I could lose 20 pounds, I would have it made.” My life would be complete.
- Study and meditate on His word daily.
- Pray daily. Confess any sins and ask him to transform you through the Holy Spirit.
- Attend church. Having a family in Christ helps you to grow in your faith as well.
- Attend Bible Study/Sunday School class to dive deeper into the Bible.