Lauriault: Living within God’s guidelines leads to true happiness

We enjoyed the fair in August.

One of the church booths had games that included pitching a straw into a container, selecting a key hoping it would unlock a prize, and picking a rubber duck to see what prize number would be awarded. That last game was meant for small children so everyone could win a prize and be happy.

As we approached that booth, the attendant was marking two parallel lines on the carpet. So our child asked secretively what she was doing and I said it looked like she was drawing lines in the carpet for a game participant to stand between.

When she asked, “What game?” I told her to ask the attendant, but she acted shyly so I told the attendant she wanted to know about the game. All three games interested her so she played each one.

She wasn’t successful at pitching straws or selecting the right key, but she did get a prize for the duck she picked making her happy as a lark (just kidding; she was over the height limit for that game).

While the lines drawn on the carpet were for straw throwers to stand between, our life as Christians is not to be at a standstill. God has given us guidelines for our lives and we’re to move along growing more Christlike so our journey will take us to heaven (Deuteronomy 5:32; Proverbs 4:27; 2 Peter 1:3-11). Staying between those God-drawn lines is the only way to have joy (true happiness) and peace in this life, and hope for the same for eternity. Living a godly life doesn’t prevent problems, but it does provide hope despite the problems allowing one to experience joy (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:1-5).

God has given us only one set of guidelines and we have to be careful to stay between them because other lines have been drawn that do not lead to heaven (Ephesians 4:1-6; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Peter 3:17-18). Those who follow the other lines may have short-term pleasure, but it doesn’t bring lasting joy and they have no hope to help them through the trials of life (Hebrews 11:25-26; 1 Peter 4:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Christians are to demonstrate joy in godly living so others can be attracted to Christ through whom we receive all spiritual blessings, including joy, peace, and hope (Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 5:22-25; Titus 2:10-14; 1 Peter 3:14-16). Some people may be too shy to ask about our joy-filled life. Others may not know what or how to ask. We must, therefore, meet them where they are and lead them into the path between God’s lines (Acts 8:30-39).

Are you living within God’s guidelines in an attractive way so others will want that life? Are you too shy to ask about that life? You can talk to me and I’ll tell you how you can enjoy the true happiness, peace, and hope you can have as a member of God’s family without timidity (1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Timothy 1:7).

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at lmlaur@plateautel.net

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