Choosing Happiness

Photo from Pastor Rick Warren

Photo from Pastor Rick Warren

Everyday I receive devotional emails from Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, and yesterday's lesson really hit home for me. He talked about letting go. In his devotional, he highlighted 3 "traps" that prevent us from being happy: 

"The trap of regret. You’ve got to let go of regrets. Are there things I wish I had done differently in life? Of course. But I can’t dwell on them because I can’t change them. Don’t waste any emotion on regrets.

The trap of resentment. Holding on to resentment doesn’t hurt anybody but you. Let it go! For your own sake, you must forgive. Do they deserve it? No. But do you deserve forgiveness from God? No. Those who experience grace are gracious.

The trap of tradition. Everything is constantly changing, and you cannot stop it. You have to decide whether to resist and resent those changes or to be happy. Happiness is a choice."

Can you imagine how happy we would be if we stopped allowing ourselves to fall into these traps? I made a promise to myself that I would stop holding on to the past and LET GO, which is not an easy task. Literally, I have to force thoughts out of my head that are hindering me from moving forward. It's on February and I have already been tested on this! I was faced with the choice of holding on to resentment from my past or moving forward. I chose to move forward and I am happy with my decision.

Are you holding on to something that seems impossible to let go of? (If you're like me, you might think of a couple things.) Is there something you still haven't forgiven yourself for? It is time to break free from the traps of our past and move forward to our happiness. Can you do this alone? Of course not. Praying to God for the strength to move forward is the only way you will be able to let go COMPLETELY. I don't mean stop focusing on a past situation for just one day, but EVERYDAY. I don't know about you, but I am claiming a year of release! You cannot create a bright future while allowing the darkness of your past to overshadow your present. 


Do you think it is important to forgive yourself of past guilt? Why or why not?