John 5:30—I can of Myself do nothing.  As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

The secret of happiness lies not in doing what we want to do but in doing what we ought to do!

Happiness never comes to the person who dodges responsibility.  Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”  There is nothing in the world that helps a man overcome his difficulties, survive his disasters, and stay healthy and happy like the joy of a life’s task worthy of his full dedication.

Righteous responsibility is a mark of spiritual maturity.  We don’t serve the Lord by feeling or emotion, but by duty and devotion.  There is no happiness without righteous responsibility.

Producing or Consuming?

Responsibility comes by degrees with advancing maturity.  In the natural realm, maturity can be measured by whether we are producing more than we consume.  When children are small, all they know how to do is consume.  As they mature they begin to become responsible and productive through simple tasks like carrying out the trash and cleaning up their rooms.

Then comes the day when you say something radical like, “It’s time for you to get a job!”  They look at you, pained and puzzled, and say something profound like, “Me?  Go to work?  Get serious!”

After they recover from the shock, they get a job that covers some of their consumption.  Eventually they will be able to pay their own way.  And by the grace of God, someday they’ll be able to support not only themselves but also a wife and children.

Spiritual Maturity

Spiritual maturity works much the same way.  We must grow to a point where we produce more than we consume.  The church is flooded with spiritually immature creatures who come to church, take in the delicious Word of God, absorb the beautiful music, enjoy the delightful fellowship—and then go swiftly out the door to do absolutely nothing.  They don’t witness to the lost.  They don’t pray.  They don’t give.  They could sing in the choir, but they won’t.  They could serve, but they won’t.

When we’re in this condition, we don’t rise to our righteous responsibility.  The time has come, after years of consuming, to start being productive for the kingdom.  It’s time to put our hands to the plow, to become fruitful servants in the Lord’s vineyard.  Life is God’s gift to us.  What we do with it is our gift to Him.  What are we doing with our lives?  Are we growing toward maturity by being productive?  Or are we stalled in a consumer mode?

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World