If someone asked you what you thought happiness is, how would you answer? The first thing that might come to your mind is your family and its security. Or maybe, you would think about your family’s health. Do finances enter your picture? How about your friends, or more possessions? A bigger house? A vacation house? A boat? Pleasure? Drugs or alcohol? All of these might tempt you into thinking that this is where happiness can be found. But, think about it. Each and every one of them, even the health and security of our family, ultimately comes back to us, and our own needs. We don’t want the apple cart to be overturned, so to speak. We feel for our family. We love our family. But their health and security ultimately allows us to feel more relieved, in that our duties and responsibilities have been taken care of. No one can point a finger at us.

“Wait a minute”, you may say, “I love my family and it is my right and duty to be concerned about their health and security.” It is your right, duty and obligation to care for your loved ones. But this question is about “happiness”. Will their security and health be the cause of your happiness? Or, will the fact that they are secure and healthy let you be relieved, and indicate to you, that you have performed your responsibilities. The latter is just relief that you didn’t cause the apple cart to overturn, that’s all. This digging, this constant banging at the question, needs to be done on all of our “happiness indicators”. We need to see how, each of the above, eventually, comes back to our own needs, our own gratifications, and our own satisfactions. Pick one. Pick any of those above: friends, house, boat, pleasure, stimulants. How do they ultimately come back to you and satisfy you?

Happiness is depicted as resulting from the possession or attainment of what one considers good. So in order to answer the question of happiness, we must first understand what we consider good, beneficial, and worthwhile. A boat might be considered as a good by one person and thus coveted, but to someone who gets seasick, or who is afraid of deep water, a boat is not even worth considering. One person’s dream is another person’s dread. So, what does every person on earth, without exception, consider as good, beneficial and worthwhile? I think it is safe to say that anything that is man-made, is perishable, or has the possibility of being lost is NOT something that mankind bases its quest for happiness on.

So, let’s ask that question again. What do you think happiness is? True happiness? If we are to not think of perishable, man-made or capable of being lost then the only “thing” left is God. He is what each of us must strive for and embrace if we are to really seek and find true happiness. What does it mean then, to strive for God, or embrace Him? It is one thing to believe in the creation and redemption of mankind, but is that really enough? Does this belief, alone, enable us to partake in the redemption of mankind? Is it this belief that enables our true happiness? The possession or attainment of what we consider good, is where our happiness lies. Did we attain this redemption, or do we just know about it, its’ circumstances?

Our belief, if it is true, must change us. It must cause us to rethink our lives and redirect our purpose. To say, “I believe that Jesus died for me” is nice and is correct. But if we truly believe, then we must look at what He has said, how He has instructed us how to live and follow those directives. On Sundays, we go to church and acknowledge His love for us. What do we do on the following days? How do we live? Do we try to see Jesus on those days, as well? Do we see Him in ALL who we meet? This love, this belief MUST impact our lives. It must change us and our way of living. We cannot simply pay lip service to Him, but must live accordingly. There is no other way. We all must ask ourselves, “What does this mean for me?

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) Christ Transforms Us
2) I Live Now, Not I
3) Our Quest For Happiness
4) The Nature of Prayer
5) Trusting Like Children