Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Things to never tell a child: #2 God will make you happy

"I'm in right up right down right happy all the time"
What a crock! I'm not happy all the time. I doubt seriously that you're happy all the time. Actually we are likely happy less than half of the time.

Most of are lives are spent just existing. Happiness is fleeting.  Anyone who says that change when you "ask Jesus into your heart" is just wrong. A fruit of the Spirit is joy. Joy and happiness are synonyms. Rather than giving a theological argument about the difference between the two, I propose that God gives neither--At least
on the short term.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Fruit is a long work in progress--not a switch. The problem with telling children that the should be happy all the time is that it just won't prove to be true. Everyone has down times in their lives. Many good godly people suffer from depression even.

If you tell someone that they should be happy all the time you telling them that when the don't fell happy something is a lie. They can either believe they feeling, thus distrusting God or God's ability. Or they can distrust their emotions. I've heard many well meaning Sunday School teachers teach the second. "Emotions are untrustworthy." they say.

The danger with this is that emotions are real and real is trustworthy. Over time a person will either become mentally ill from stuffing their emotions or they will choose to disbelieve God.

Allow your children the best chances to discover the truth about God and about the difficulties that exist I'm this world. Teach them that it is ok-even good-to feel sad. God gives them those emotions for a reason. Never let them believe that they should be happy all the time.

Note: I'm trying something new today by sending this remotely. Pardon typos more than usual. I'll try to clean it up later.