The mistake of happiness - Hope 103.2

The mistake of happiness

By David ReayFriday 22 Sep 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Matthew 6:33

33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (NLT)

Unless there is something seriously wrong with us, each of us would like to be happy. Beats despondency any day! But we can make a common mistake: we can chase after happiness as a primary goal in life. Writing outside the Christian tradition, the author D.H. Lawrence once likened the pursuit of happiness to the dangerously seductive task of trying to pick a flower growing at the top of a cliff. Try too hard to pluck the flower and you may topple over the cliff. And further, despite all the flowers you pluck, it is never the flower that ultimately satisfies. There is always some other flower to pick.

From the Christian tradition, Eugene Peterson writes: “Pleasures are gifts to be enjoyed, not goals to be pursued…the foundational human appetite is for God. God has filled the world with all manner of delight. It is possible to accept all the gifts of life and enjoy them completely only if we refuse to make gods out of them.”

Jesus teaches this as he reminds us that pursuit of him is the key to all else in life. Our pleasure-seeking is futile if it is independent of God’s pleasure-giving. Happiness best comes as a by-product of our pursuit of God. Chase happiness and you may miss out on God. Chase God and he may give you all the happiness you seek.

David Reay