Monday, January 26, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

What does it really mean to be happy? Many people spend a lot of time and money finding out. My goodness.... there was even a movie made about the pursuit of happyness. I heard a really great message in church on Sunday about this subject. This goes along with the "to be" list I mentioned in an earlier post. Remember...our first character trait for the 2009 year was to be hopeful.

Second trait is to be happy. Have you ever thought about what God thinks about our happiness? If God wants me to be happy, and I'm not, does that mean that God has failed? Is your happiness defined by what kind of car you drive? The type of phone you text on? Or the neighborhood you live in or better yet the corporate ladder you are climbing?

Proverbs 14:12 says "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Here are some false ideas about the pursuit of happiness.
-Without a belief in absolute truth, truth is defined by whatever makes me happy.
-When the bottom line is my happiness, happiness becomes the standard by which I judge my actions.
-Whatever makes me happy must be right.
-Since God wants me happy, anything that doesn't make me happy must be bad. Discomfort, delay, risk, suffering, inconveniences and obstacles can't be God's will.
-Without knowing it you begin to worship the fast gods of comfort, money pleasure and things.

God doesn't want us happy when it causes us to do something unwise. Or when it is based on things in this world. There is no secret formula for happiness like better possessions + peaceful circumstances + thrilling experiences + the right relationships + the perfect appearance = happiness.

God calls us to be holy rather than happy. Being a christian doesn't always mean that we will have a smooth problem free life. Or a life of total bliss. But He did call us to a life of holiness and sometimes that means that not everything is going to go our way, we don't get everything we want or think we need, we submit to God's authority, and understand that He is guiding our every circumstances for our benefit. Although some of those circumstances are character building, stressful, crazy-go-nuts details in our lives, He is still working things out for His glory and for our good. Those character building exercises may not make us happy but I can say that they will make us more holy, if we seek God first, and that's the ultimate goal, right?.

Happiness apart from the will of God, is not really happiness after all. God wants us to be blessed! "Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. " Psalm 112:1

Who or what tries to drag you down from your pursuit of holiness?
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