Monday, February 29, 2016

The Link Between the Pursuit of Happiness and Cheating, Drugs, and Oppression

There are times in life when God's Will intersects with my happiness - and in those moments, I am overjoyed.

There are times in life when God's Will does not intersect with my happiness and I am forced to make a choice - happy or God? 

Happiness is like unadulterated sugar - pure sweet delight. But just like too much sugar leads to an agonising tummy ache, too much happiness can be problematic. 

Let me explain. 

Some things that can make one happy include: getting an A in Biochem class, getting a new job, buying your parents a new house, having a nice dinner with your significant other on the beach while watching the sun set, etc. 
Some other things that can make one happy include: getting drunk, doing drugs, watching porn, having sex with a "married" man or woman, having sex with an underage partner, stealing money, human trafficking, oppressing others, etc.

Yes, it's true. All the above listed things can produce "happiness" in a person - hence the reason that while most of them are universally tabooed, they are ALL universally practiced.

It feels good to see, taste, or touch the forbidden fruit - infidelity, porn, drugs, etc. It feels good to exert power over another - human trafficking (did you know it's one of the most profitable industries to date?) and oppression (i.e. at the workplace with junior staff, domestic staff, etc). It feels good to take what you want, when you want it, no matter what anyone says. And if we resolve to be people that pursue "happiness", then such behavior must continue on - after all, "it makes me happy". 

I have a theory. 

Unlike the world's current mantra that "life is about the pursuit of happiness", I believe God's mantra is that "life is about the pursuit of holiness". 

I know most people do any and everything to stay "happy" avoiding sadness like the bubonic plague. I think that's a bit misguided. I think there is room for sadness in our lives. There is purpose for it. 

Think about it. 

If Jesus was in the pursuit of happiness, you and I would be automatically doomed. The Bible says that when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, before his capture, torture, and murder, he was in such agony that the sweat droplets falling from his forehead were as thick as blood. 

Does that sound like somebody embarking on a happiness pursuit? 

I mean he was not a happy man in that garden. He wasn't going through a happy time. His sacrifice wasn't a happy choice - it was a God choice. That "sad", God choice opened up the option of salvation to the entire world. Like Him, are we willing to make some God choices over happy choices, when those moments present themselves? Are we willing to pursue holiness instead?

Now don't get me wrong - happiness in itself is not a bad thing; there are many times we are rightfully happy. And heaven forbid we are to be "sad" all our days. However, as the saying goes, "everything in moderation". When our happiness becomes the number one priority, there's a great chance we will lose God along the way - because there will be times when He will ask us to make unhappy choices and we will likely say "NO". 

I should know. 

I struggle with this on a daily basis. Why? Because there are many happy options that make my fleshy side feel very, very, VERY good. In that same breath, those happy options are the same ones that corrupt and destroy my soul very, very, VERY much. 

It's a dance, you see. And sometimes if you choose "happy", you do find yourself dancing with God and that is the greatest gift. But, sometimes when you choose "happy", you find yourself dancing with someone terrifyingly worse. 

I daresay we should all be careful - before too much happiness gets the best of us :)

But don't mind what I think. What do you think?
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  1. Well said.. Every Christian faces such moments daily and it can be very very tempting n most times so difficult that we make those wrong happy choices b4 we even notice but with "conscious" efforts to make God choices we become beta n grow from Glory 2 Glory.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Sarah. Like you said, "wrong happy choices" can be very, very tempting...and if one isn't consciously making effort to say no them, oh boy :)