Where We Go Wrong In Our Pursuit Of Happiness
Happiness is the preeminent pursuit in our culture. Everyone wants to be happy. We all want to be content and satisfied. We all want to add value and experience meaning. We all want to be happy. Happiness is even hardwired into the very fabric of our country.
When Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, he penned the following,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
More than maybe any point in history, we believe that we deserve to be happy and thus spend our lives pursuing it. In truth, happiness is not a right or something we deserve, but a gift given by God. Contrary to what we hear, God’s chief end is not our happiness, but His own glory (Isaiah 48:9-11). However, in God’s grace, he desires his people to experience the happiness he created us for.
But here’s the problem…
You can’t achieve a God-given end through ungodly means.
Happiness is an experience God intends for His people, but He’s also provided a clear yet counter-intuitive means through which to experience it. The path to happiness is not money, a different spouse, better children, more comfort, security, or the approval of those around us. God’s path for our happiness is this:
Happiness flows from holiness.
Holiness means being set-apart from sin and for God. God means happiness to be a natural by-product of the more important pursuit of holiness. God wants His people to be happy and he’s prescribed the path by which true happiness comes. Happiness flows from holiness. It’s time to leave any and every other path we may be on, repent, and get on the grace-soaked, Spirit-empowered path to holiness.