I'm confused. We are supposed to be more like Jesus and less like ourselves?


I am seriously confused and I feel kind of dumb for having to ask :confused:
Ok so on a previous post here someone posted:
" MY CHILD, the more you depart from yourself, the more you will be able to enter into Me. As the giving up of exterior things brings interior peace, so the forsaking of self unites you to God. I will have you learn perfect surrender to My will, without contradiction or complaint. "
No Bible book/chapter/verse was given, so I don’t know where it came from. Anyway, it sounds right. So does:
But I’m having a problem. I can’t remember where, but on a site like the one above, it said to grow closer to God we have to turn our joys into woes because we can’t be happy unless we are with God, because only God offers true happiness. I agree that the only true happiness can be found through God. I also agree we should be more like God. But what I can’t wrap my head around is ‘turning my joys to woes’. What’s wrong with being happy on earth? I love God and I want to be more like Him but I can’t make myself hate the people in my life, or hate my life itself for that matter. Is it wrong for me to be happy?
Is it possible to love God and be happy on earth? What should I do? I feel stupid but I can’t figure out how I should look at this. How can anyone make concrete decisions ‘yes I should be happy’ ‘no I should not be happy’ about their life when some parts of the Bible can be interpreted in different ways? :confused: No, I’m not becoming an atheist, I’m just really confused.

Thanks for any help, I need it

To start with, the site you posted as far as I can tell is not a Catholic site so I’d take anything it has to say skeptically to be honest. Anyone can make themselves a website and preach whatever they feel like. It’s easy to become misguided and confused by them and their teachings are not those of the Church so it’s better to stay away. Find good Catholic apologetics sites, like Catholic Answers, and that way you won’t be misguided.

The quote you post is not from the Bible, it comes from the famous book ‘The Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas à Kempis (amazing book, worth a look at). The chapter (very short) which the quote comes from is here: ecatholic2000.com/imit/ioc94.shtml

Why would God want you to be unhappy? That makes no sense. Like I said, a lot of internet apologetics sites are just random people who post whatever they like. It doesn’t necessarily have any logical, Scriptural basis. There is no sin in taking joy in the blessings you have in this life, though of course not at the extent of forgetting about the blessings we have been offerred beyond this life. The other important thing is naturally to focus our joy on Godly things, not material things in this life that will fade - but again, you can be joyful for the blessings you have but do not let them overtake God.

Mother Theresa always told her sisters in the convent that they should treat anyone like they were Lord Jesus Christ himself.

It is not easy, but we all should strive to treat our next with the much-same respect always.

In John 10:10, Jesus says " The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

We absolutely are to be happy. We’re not supposed to walk around looking unhappy. What kind of witness would that show to the world? What kind of light would we be?

In terms of forsaking yourself: Let’s say the only time you can go to mass is during the beginning of a game. You really want to watch the game, but you choose to go to mass. That is forsaking yourself for the things of God.

Now here’s the interesting thing: the more we grow closer to God, the more we become interested in the things of God. For example, if you’re dating someone. the more you grow to like them, the more you want to spend time with them. At the same time, you grow to find joy in the smallest things in your life. So simply waking up may fill you with great joy because God gave you one more day and you go about your day being grateful for everything you have. That is life more abundantly.

Does that mean Christians don’t have sorrow? We absolutely do, but even in our sorrow we can recognize that it is for a purpose and Jesus walks with us even “in the shadow of death”. So in the midst of our sorrow, we can still be happy.

Don’t be upset… If you follow the teachings of the Catholic Church,you will follow in the footsteps of Jesus and lead a God first lifestyle. You will live a very happy life on this earth and be completely prepared for the glory that awaits you in the next. I felt confused when I was younger and mainly the problem lied in that I was misinterpreting scripture. I purchased an Ignatius Study Bible on the New Testament and that really helped in bringing the scripture alive according to the CC. Turn any woes you have over to God. Put them in his hands. Remember to put God first and things will fall into place.

It is easy to get confused in these matters. Don’t worry - you are in good company. Even the great saints have to work through these kinds of things.

First of all - try to understand that when you read things like this, often yo are reading a passage taken from something larger and more involved with the writer’s personal journey. So don’t assume that you are reading a “one size fit’s all” roadmap.

Lets take the snippet that you mention in your OP where you quote:
*“to grow closer to God we have to turn our joys into woes because we can’t be happy unless we are with God” *
I suspect that if one reads more thoroughly into wherever this comes from that the author will clarify that “our joys” refers to things that originate in our “self” and are contrary to Love of God. In other words Joys that come from our fallen nature.

Does God want us to be unahppy? Of course not. But he wishes us to be properly happy. That is, happy in the right way and for the right things. This can often times conflict with what “the world” tells us that we should be happy in.

As I said earlier, don’t worry that this confuses you. It will take a lot of prayer, contemplation, study and living, to come to understand these things…and frankly some things we might never come to understand.

The book that I promote in my signature might be of help to you.


the more we conform ourselves to Jesus, that is, in discerning and obeying the will of God, the more we conform to our true human nature as we were created and the more we become our true selves. The more we distance ourselves from Christ and follow our own wills in opposition to God’s the less truly human and the less like our true selves we become, and the more perverted and warped from our true personality and being.

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