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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

How to Make Yourself Miserable

Have you noticed how some people love to throw pity parties when suffering comes? It’s almost as if we capitalize on the downside rather than focus on the benefits that come from the hard times. How easily we forget that growth occurs when life is hard. The problem is we almost delight in our own misery.

Fifty years ago, Dan Greenburg wrote a funny book, How to Make Yourself Miserable, in which he says:

Too long have you…gone from the important task of punishing yourself…by devious or ineffective means. Too long have you had to settle for poorly formulated anxieties…simply because this vital field has always been shrouded in ignorance—a folk art rather than a science. Here at last is a frank report you have been waiting for…It is our humble but earnest desire that through these pages you will be able to find inspiration and the tools for a truly painful, meaningless, miserable life.”

The truth is we don’t need any help in this area. We have perfected the art of misery all by ourselves. I think it was Charlie Jones who said, “There is something wrong with everything.” And one of Murphy’s Laws that says, “That’s not a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s an oncoming train.”

I’ve enjoyed these past eight weeks of hanging with the apostle Peter in his first epistle. I look forward to Peter’s closing words of confirmation and celebration, “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of grace will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

I look forward to worshipping with you!