...if we be honest with ourselves,
we shall be honest with each other.  ~ George MacDonald

Jesus Wept 

Jesus Wept

 

When the Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives,” what it really means is make your wife happy.

If you love someone you want them to be happy.

Jesus said, that the entire law and all the prophets hang on just two commands; love God and love people as yourself (see Matt 22:37-40)

Whether it’s children obeying parents or wives respecting husbands, or bosses paying a fair wage and doing what they can to reduce stress in the work place, or workers working hard, all the commands God gave are really about making others happy. And strange as it might sound, the more you are able to achieve the goal of making others happy, the happier you will be yourself.

The desire to make others happy can make ordinary tasks enjoyable. It can help us to endure hardship. If you’ve had a good look through this site you might have read the poem “Willie’s Question.” It's about a boy who asks his father how he can achieve true greatness. He thinks to be truly great he has to try and be better than others. His father explains to him that that path does not lead to greatness, it only leads to misery. His father says:
 
I will tell you the only plan
To climb and not to fall:
He who would rise and be greater than
He is, must be servant of all.

Turn it each way in your mind,
Try every other plan,
You may think yourself great, but at length you'll find
You are not even a man.

Climb to the top of the trees,
Climb to the top of the hill,
Get up on the crown of the sky if you please,
You'll be a small creature still.

Be admiral, poet, or king,
Let praises fill both your ears,
Your soul will be but a windmill thing
Blown round by its hopes and fears.

Willie comes to understand that he must serve others but he has no idea what he should do, so his father tells him to listen and hear God’s voice. Here is part of the conversation that follows.
 
Willie speaks.

What is it, father dear,
That he would have me do?
I'd ask himself, but he's not near,
And so I must ask you!


The Father answers.

Me 'tis no use to ask,
I too am one of his boys!
But he tells each boy his own plain task;
Listen, and hear his voice.


Willie speaks.

Father, I'm listening
so

To hear him if I may!
His voice must either be very low,
Or very far away!


The Father answers.

It is neither hard to hear,
Nor hard to understand;
It is very low, but very near,
A still, small, strong command.


Willie answers.

I do not hear it at all;
I am only hearing you!


The Father speaks.

Think: is there nothing, great or small,
You ought to go and do?


Willie answers.

Let me think:-I ought to feed
My rabbits. I went away
In such a hurry this morning! Indeed
They've not had enough to-day!


The Father speaks.

That is his whisper low!
That is his very word!
You had only to stop and listen, and so
Very plainly you heard!

That duty's the little door:
You must open it and go in;
There is nothing else to do before,
There is nowhere else to begin.


Willie speaks.

But that's so easily done!
It's such a trifling affair!
So nearly over as soon as begun.
For that he can hardly care!


The Father answers.

You are turning from his call
If you let that duty wait;
You would not think any duty small
If you yourself were great.

The nearest is at life's core;
With the first, you all begin:
What matter how little the little door
If it only let you in?
 
His dad convinces him that that is the road he must take. Months pass and Willie discovers it's hard and so objects some more. His father explains the nature of the path. And though it is not specifically mentioned, if Willie’s goal was to make others happy, he would find joy in the little things—the things that once seemed ordinary. If his goal was to make his rabbits happy, he would have found joy in feeding them.

Jesus said,

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16).

God wants us to know the joy of giving others joy. When our goal changes from being happy to making others happy, we have begun to discover life.

Build your life on the rock. Jesus said:

...everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matt 7:24-27).

 
It's both easy and hard to follow Jesus. It's easy because of the joy you discover, but it's hard because of the way some people will treat you. But no matter how badly some people treat you, don't hate them. Help them.

More about Willie's Question.