Stop Letting Others Control Your Happiness
Do you allow other people affect your mood? Your happiness? You don’t have to let others control your attitude. You don’t have to rely on the approval of others to feel happy. In fact, you’re going to be miserable if you try to live for the approval of everybody else.
Phil 1:15-17 says:
15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.
In the above verses Paul describes four kinds of people. There are critics who are slandering me and who are creating all kinds of controversy. There are comrades (that’s my friends). There are competitors who are preaching Christ out of rivalry. And there are conspirators who just want to make my problem worse.
Notice the word “rivalry.” That word in Greek means they love to argue. Have you ever met anybody like that? They love to argue. They love conflict. They enjoy creating controversy. These people are contentious. They are divisive. What he’s saying here is “I have to deal with these people.”
Would you agree that few things can rob your happiness faster than being criticized? Why? Because we all want to be loved. We all want to be approved. We want everybody to like us. But let me give you a little Happiness Hint...
I don’t need other people’s approval to be happy.
I don’t need other people’s approval. I don’t need other people’s permission to be happy. You’re as happy as you choose to be. If they’re unhappy, that’s their choice. And you’re going to be miserable if you try to live for the approval of everybody else.
Paul was modeling here – never let others control your attitude. Some of these people are just jealous and they’re quarrelsome and they’re cranky and they criticize everything. Then the next verse, he talks about the good guys. These are his friends. These are his comrades.
Phil 1:16 The latter do so out of love, [That’s the real reason to share the good news, out of love.] knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
He says those people bring me joy obviously. Then in verse 17 he talks about competitors. He says
Phil 1:17 “The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.”
You’re going to have all four of these in your life – critics, comrades, competitors, conspirators. I certainly have. Don’t let them rob you. I want you to see Paul’s attitude. He says, “I’m in prison. I’m already down and these guys are kicking me while I’m down – critics, conspirators and competitors.
Look at verse 18. Here’s Paul’s attitude,
Phil 1:18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,
I love that. “I’m not going to let other people control my attitude. There may be people criticizing me for what I’m doing. There may be people competing with what I’m doing. There may be people who are conspiring to make sure I fail in what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter. What I’m going to do is I’m going to focus on Christ, and I am choosing to be happy. I’m not going to let anybody steal my joy.”
Choose to not let others rob you of happiness.