Stop and think before letting your emotions drag you down
Most of us singles don't stop and think before we let something affect us.
The key word in that sentence is "let". We take it for granted that certain events or people have the power to pull us down into places we'd rather not go. The truth is that we have more control over our lives than we give ourselves credit for.
We let things push our buttons that should have no effect on us. Before we know it, our emotions are running wild.
Stop and think while watching TV
It's funny. For nearly 70 years, people have had a little box (well, now it's a monstrous flat screen) in the corner of the room telling them what to do and how to live, and most of us have never questioned it.
We all watch a lot of TV--probably more than we should. TV is one of the great invaders of our mind. We underestimate how powerful commercials can be. Millions of dollars and countless hours of psychological testing go into most commercials to evoke a particular response.
Advertising is as much science as it is art. Ad agencies know that certain colors, images, music, and words can get predictable results. Add to that the fact that we're in our home, relaxed, in an unguarded state of mind, and we allow things to influence us that we might not in other circumstances.
When a commercial tells you that you need something, do you stop and think? Do you ask yourself "Why would I need that?" Do you question their claims that it will make your life happier, easier, more enjoyable?
Do you stop and think when a car commercial makes you feel excited or that your friends will admire you if you drive that kind of vehicle? Do you put on your emotional brakes and say, "Whoa! The car I have now is just fine. Is impressing other people what life's really about?"
The truth is that few of us watch TV with the mindset that every moment away from the program, they're trying to sell you something.
Stop and think about our society
TV, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, movies all project pretty much the same message: Being rich, thin, and successful will make you happy.
Really? Then why are rich, thin, and successful celebrities always going into rehab and making fools of themselves with their immoral behavior?
How strongly are you being influenced by our culture? It's a question we singles in particular need to ask ourselves, because we don't have a spouse to keep us on an even keel. Or, sometimes a spouse can actually be a bad influence, falling for the latest fad and gotta-have product.
What's happening is that all these advertisers are selling promises, and darn few of them deliver. We especially need to stop and think when they promise happiness.
Stop and think about true happiness
I've said it before on this site but I'll repeat it here: There's a big difference between fun and happiness.
Fun is a temporary thing, like watching a ball game or going to a party or riding a bicycle on a beautiful day. It provides a needed break from the routine, it's enjoyable, and it gives you a lift.
Happiness, on the other hand, does last. It doesn't rust. It doesn't wear out. It doesn't become obsolete when a shinier model comes out, and it satisfies a deep longing within your soul.
Here's where I lose a lot of you. Happiness comes from the one who has no ulterior motives, who doesn't want anything from you, who isn't trying to sell you anything. He loves you just because you're you. That someone would be God. Jesus Christ, in particular, who is God, no matter what anyone else claims.
Now stop and think about me for a moment. I'm not trying to sell you anything here. I don't make a profit if you become a Christian or buy yourself a Bible and start reading it. If I have an ulterior motive, it's that I want you to discover the same truth that I have: God is the source of real happiness.
You can learn more about Jesus on this site, or you can read some great articles at www.christianity.about.com.
Don't be a sponge. Don't take in everything our culture tells you and believe it's true. Don't let them push your buttons. Find the truth out for yourself. Use that beautiful mind God gave you. Please, stop and think.