Brother Meador, would you please comment on the topic of happiness
as it relates to the Christian life.
In every community there are those searching to find some purpose
for their existence, while others are trying to reassemble the
broken pieces of a once productive life. Also there are those
who have found meaning and genuine happiness in their lives.
Because so many are looking for an alternative to their present
style of thinking and living, there are obvious questions that
come to mind: "Why do these differences exist? Why are some
excited about life, while others seem cynical and cold? Is there
supposed to be some meaning to my life? And, What is the pathway
to the life of abundant and satisfying happiness?
The answers to these and many like questions come from a book
written many thousands of years ago. The Bible, authored by the
direct inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:1617) is the source
book to be consulted about the great issues of life. It is the
only book which fulfills its promise to lead to a great appreciation
and respect for life (both physical and spiritual).
Respect for God leads to Genuine Happiness
Happiness is always the result of a greater value, that is, respect
for God (Psa. 128:12; Prov. 28:14). Such respect leads one
to obey God (Psa. 40:8; John 3:36, 13:17; Acts 2:1447).
This obedience results in true fellowship and trust in God for
provision and protection (1 John 1:57; Prov. 16:20; Phil.
Salvation Is Genuine Happiness
When one obeys the Gospel, as preached in the second chapter of
Acts, it produces great peace and happiness (Acts 2:4247;
8:3839). This joy, produced in the lives of firstcentury
Christians, was far more real than the temporary rush of emotional
excitement, which so many want to experience. It is vain to search
for happiness while thinking it to be a quick fix to bandage the
wounds of guilt.
Happiness is the byproduct of living in harmony with God's
will. It results from a lifestyle in conformity to Christ.
To seek after happiness in any other way only causes one to confuse
happiness with humanistic selffulfillment. While the former
can last into eternity, the latter leads to selfdestruction.
Seeking Self Interests Prevents Genuine Happiness
The sometimes subtle, yet formidable, philosophies of humanism
and hedonism (which are Satanic in origin and sinful in method)
have influenced many, even in the church, to make happiness and
personal satisfaction the central features of life. At times we
all give in to the temptation of selfindulgence or selfgratification,
whether at home, in school, on the job, or even in matters supposedly
spiritual in nature. But to make such a continual habit of expectation
is to ensure the destruction of spiritual character (Luke 14:
Although we often seek to make excuses for our own selfish behavior,
there can be no doubt that such is always the result of succumbing
to the malady commonly known as "I" disease. Ironically,
the main symptom of this disease is the tendency toward discontent
and faultfinding (that is, discontent with everything that doesn't
go our own way, and finding fault with everybody but oneself),
1 Peter 1:8; Rom. 12:12; Psa. 51:12; Matt. 7:15.
The real effect of "I" disease is that it never really
leads to genuine and lasting happiness, joy, or peace. Yet, Satan,
the infectious carrier of this disease (who is also the lord of
deception), would love to convince as many as possible that pleasing
self, as a disguised servant of Christ, even in the supposed name
of religion and spirituality, will lead one to find genuine contentment
with God. That is the big lie that Satan has promoted for centuries
among "pious" people.
Such concourse of life leads instead to vain and empty relationships;
vain and empty religion; vain and empty spirituality, and vain
and empty Christianity (Mark 7:6). The devil used such tactics
in the Garden of Eden, and he continues still (1 John 2:1517).
Guidelines for Genuine Happiness
Creath Davis has observed that: Any person who makes his own happiness
to be the top priority of his life will experience only frustration.
Jesus clearly indicated that anyone who selfishly grasps his own
life actually forfeits any chance of experiencing real life (Matt.
He also observed that happiness is a state of being that is produced
by living in harmony with God's will. As such, let us note some
of the following items concerning true happiness that Davis discusses:
Happiness, according to the Psalmist and others, comes to those
people who allow the living God to be Lord of their life (Psa.
144:15; Prov. 16:20).
Happiness comes only to those who learn how to relate well to
others (Psa. 133:1; Matt. 19:1819; 1 Cor. 13). It may be
said that a person is as rich or as poor as the quality of his
personal relationships. Without caring relationships, we remain
alone and discontent. Here communication is the key. We can never
assume too much in an interpersonal relationship. Such relationships
must be carefully cultivated, using scriptural principles.
A person so preoccupied with his own anxiety and depression that
he cannot lay aside his defensive attitude to form deep friendships
or to respond to life spontaneously, will experience little or
no happiness. Cold rigidity in the personality blocks the processes
of growth in our spirituality.
A Christian who finds happiness in God, and thus in others, does
not distort reality to fit his wishes. True happiness must be
realitybased - it is not an illusion. Nor can we mold the
world to fit our own expectations.
Finally, happiness comes to those who possess true wisdom (Prov.
3:13). The person who possesses true spiritual wisdom will reflect
a wholesome balance in his life (Phil. 4:59, 12). As Creath
Davis once again states:
The wise person does not give himself to peripheral issues, nor
is he caught pursuing tangents (Matt. 23:23). His is a life of
faith, wonder, gratitude, and hope, which produces an enthusiasm
for living and opens the door for happiness.
The Christian is to live after the example of Christ. Jesus came
to give us spiritual life (through our obedience to the Gospel
and by our yielding our will to his will), and he came to give
it more abundantly (the higher state of living that is afforded
to each Christian). May each of us act upon the divine principles
given in the Bible so that we might live our lives as pleasing
unto God and as true examples unto our fellow man.