People in our world search tirelessly for happiness by changing jobs, moving to new cities, pursuing intimate relationships, and tweaking all sorts of other external factors in their lives. And guess what? They're still unhappy. They spend their time and money adding positive "externals" to their lives while their "internals" are still so negative.
God's word has the answers for positive mental health. We will consider the eternal wisdom of God, and, as we do such, I also want to share portions of a list I found on the internet entitled: "75 Ways To Stay Unhappy Forever." It was a numbered list of things to do if you wanted to be miserable in life. Of course, the point of the article was to get people thinking about what not to do, so they could "move swiftly in the opposite direction."
We're not going to read all 75 points since some of them are not Biblically sound, but we will read over half of them, add some comments of my own, and also cite God's word where relevant. Some of the points do mirror important Biblical principles for which it is important for us to be reminded.
With that being said, let's begin considering ways in which we can remain unhappy:
1. Dwell on things that happened in the past.
Everybody makes mistakes. Don't destroy the present by living in the past with your failures. Learn from your mistakes and then move on the best you can. Philippians 3:13,14 - "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
2. Obsess yourself with all the things that might happen in the future.
What if I lose my job? What if my child turns out to be autistic? What if I can't pay my bills this month? What if my cancer is malignant? What if...what if...what if...? Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-34 - "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
3. Complain about problems instead of taking the necessary steps to resolve them.
Grumbling or feeling sorry for yourself is always easier than trying to fix a problem, but what does it accomplish? Philippians 2:14 - "Do all things without complaining and disputing."
4. Fear change and resist it.
Some resist progress and fight against it; such is futile. Change itself, as a concept, is intrinsically neutral. We should fear change that promotes evil; we should resist that. However, some changes are good. It is good when a person realizes his or her need for the Lord and submits to Christ in obedience to the gospel (cf. Acts 3:19). That is a change that must not be resisted!
5. Work hard, do your best, and then condemn yourself for not achieving perfection.
Colossians 3:23 - "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."
This is connected with the next point.
6. Belittle yourself.
Although many struggle with pride & thinking of themselves too highly, there are some who tear themselves down when they are not perfect. Jesus said in Matthew 22:39 - "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."