Thursday, May 8, 2014

happiness is overrated

I've had many a discussion about happiness with believers and non-believers. Both groups of people often don't like what I have to say about happiness. You see, I believe that the Bible and Jesus' teachings do not point us to happiness as an end goal for life. Happiness isn't the point. I see so many sayings posted around the internet that tell us to drop everything and everyone that doesn't make us happy, or to pursue only the things that make us happy. Bleh. Think that one through for a moment. What if killing puppies makes me happy? Or stealing from an old lady? Obviously these are extreme examples but, there are bad things that make people happy. We have to take that into consideration when telling people to pursue happiness.

Also, no one will continually make you happy. That's an impossible task to give someone. We will also never be able to make ourselves happy, so are we to abandon ourselves? The problem with hapiness is that it is an emotion and like all emotions, it is fleeting. As quickly as anger can come and go, so can happiness. We cannot base our lives on something fleeting.

The good news is that we are not doomed to live miserable lives. Jesus wants us to have something much better than happiness. He wants us to have joy and peace. Joy can exist in the midst of chaos and turmoil where happiness cannot. Joy is not fleeting. Joy is eternal because it is rooted in Christ. Happiness is me-centered where joy is kingdom-centered.

Just look at a few of these verses and you will notice a common theme. Joy is not centered around things that really make sense in this world. James tell us to count it pure joy whenever we face trials. That doesn't make sense outside of the light of Christ. You'll also notice in these verses that joy is never centered around self.

Coming to the realization that happiness isn't the goal of our lives may be a tough pill to swallow for some. However, when you start pursuing Christ, and therefore joy, you will find freedom. That is a 100% money back guarantee. I feel like a broken record but, nothing else matters when Christ is the ruler of our lives. I think I have to say that so much in these posts because I probably need that message more than you do.

Remember, happiness is fleeting. Joy is forever.

Much love,
Casey

3 comments:

  1. I love this post. It is a reflection of my thoughts on the matter. Happiness is but a fleeting emotion, while joy is something innate within the believer - put there by the Creator of joy. Joy runs much deeper. I believe it lends itself to peace due to the fact that you don't have to constantly be "chasing" a sense of happiness.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

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  2. Yes. Just yes to everything.

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  3. Yes!

    So often I have non-believers ask me "Doesn't God just want me to be happy?"

    Um, no. God wants you to find joy, which can only truly be experienced in a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.

    Love this!

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