THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Pursuing happiness may be one of our inalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence, but is it really a worthwhile pursuit? How many people are truly happy? We have all heard others say: “If it makes her happy,” and “He deserves to be happy,” or “Do whatever makes you happy.”

Are you happy? Am I happy? What makes us think we are even supposed to be happy?

Happiness is subjective, as well as a shifting target. One day it’s here, the next day it’s there. It fluctuates like the wind, flows in and out like the tide, then flees the second problems arise. Happiness swells from a selfish, rather than a selfless perspective, and what makes you and me happy today won’t make us happy tomorrow.

Happiness is elusive until it has this or does that…then it changes again.

Happiness desires prime rib and lobster until it has it;

Happiness wants a Manhattan penthouse, a beach-front cottage, or cabin in the mountains until it has it;

Happiness longs for a Lexus until it has it;

Happiness is often found waiting for the weekend or retirement until they arrive.

But something newer, nicer, bigger, and brighter will appear and then we will want that instead, because happiness lives in the immediate and lasts only until it sees the next thing. Likewise, happiness only stays around when our happenings are kind to us, once our happenings get nasty, it is nowhere to be found.

 

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  1 Timothy 6:6

Godliness with contentment pursues the eternal and welcomes the present. It doesn’t dart when difficulties come, but intentionally moves god-ward, on a steady, lifelong quest seeking to know GOD and be known by GOD. Godliness with contentment tries to carry a Christ-like attitude and produce long-term Spiritual fruit – things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) – no matter what happens to be happening to us. Nobody does this perfect, or even close to it, but godliness with contentment embraces all of life – the good, the bad, and the ugly – causing an increasing level of satisfaction and significance.

For godliness with contentment is okay with what it has and where it is…

Godliness with contentment can enjoy a cup of soup and crust of bread;

Godliness with contentment can live very well in a tar-paper shack, a studio apartment, or a mud hut on the Serengeti;

Godliness with contentment likes the old Buick LeSabre just fine;

Godliness with contentment doesn’t expect to retire, but to transition into its next assignment.

While happiness is about right now and what’s next, godliness with contentment makes the most of today while preparing for tomorrow. It is both responsible in this life and ready for endless life, allowing for peace and joy through it all.

 

Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!  Psalm 144:15

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