The Seduction of Happiness
March 7th, 2012
The Seduction of Happiness
By Garry Geer
"If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
John 15:10-11 TNIV
SPIRITUAL BOREDOM ARISES from a quest for happiness versus a quest for joy. Fulfilling a momentary impulse brings about happiness. It’s easy. It’s quick. This is not to say that happiness is wrong, but it falls prey to the basic rules of human sensation.
As Christians, we have bought into one of society’s big lies: we have made happiness the end goal. This is further reflected in the misguided belief that we are the center of the universe. Sometimes glorifying God doesn’t make us “happy.” It requires us to look outside of ourselves and search for that most desired, yet least understood state: joy.
Joy demands a bit of effort. It doesn’t offer the same short-term emotional pay-off that happiness does, but ultimately it changes me at a foundational level. Joy results from the obedience that arises from my understanding and appreciation of God’s holiness and love. The times when I am bored with God are the times when I am concerned about momentary stimuli, moving from entertainment to entertainment like a honeybee from flower to flower. God doesn’t compete on those terms. He doesn’t desire that I live for the moment, but rather that I live for eternity.
Where is the fallacy in the “pursuit of happiness”? How has this idea negatively affected mindsets and behaviors in our culture?
This devotion is adapted from an article in <em>RELEVANT magazine</em>.<a href="http://relevantmagazine.com/subscribe" title=""> </a><a title="" href="http://relevantmagazine.com/subscribe" style="color: #999999">Get your own copy.</a>
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