Power isn't happiness

I recently watched Ghosts of Girlfriends' Past. The movie (which is a loose adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol) is about a hedonistic, womanizing bachelor who despises the idea of love and marriage. The night before his younger brother's wedding, he is visited by ghosts representing his past, present, and future girlfriends. By the next morning, he opens his broken heart to love again. Personally, I don't recommend the movie, except for maybe the last 10 minutes. In particular, the best man's speech was positive: "Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less. And he was right. But power isn't happiness . . . happiness comes from caring more about people, rather than less." The "power" referred to above is the power of selfprotection. You know, those games we play to try not to care too much for someone. And, yes, it may keep a broken heart from getting hurt again, but there is no joy or life in it. It only ends up incarcerating the soul in a prison of fear, emptiness, and selfishness. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah described the dangers of self-protection. Figuratively speaking, he said that when we try to protect ourselves in the darkness with our own self-generated light, we will end up in torment (Isaiah 50:10-11). Protecting ourselves by deadening our hearts may seem to make sense, but it only makes things worse. It reminds me of the proverb that says, "There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death" (Proverbs 14:12). Nothing is greater than the power of love. Only the willingness to care and be cared for is what brings us true joy and life and the freedom to be who God made us to be for others. First comes love, then comes joy. , Jeff Olson

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