What Makes You Happy?

Day 28

“To the person who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.”

– Ecclesiastes 2:26

If only I had . . . if only I drove . . . if only I wore . . . if only I knew . . . if only I won . . . then I would feel better about myself. Then I would be happy.

Every time you open a magazine, listen to the radio, go on the Internet, or watch television, people you’ve never met create shows, movies, books, and ads that tell you what will make you happy. Every single one of us has fallen for someone’s promise of the secret of happiness at least once or twice . . . if not 100 times. Quick-fix happiness can be marketed and sold, but not the real stuff—not lasting happiness.

If happiness were about a “what,” we would just go out and get our happy “what’s” and we’d be happy all the time. The problem is that a happy “what” always leads to happy “what else.” The happy “what” is like caffeine. It wears off over time. You were as excited about your old phone when you first bought it as you are about your new phone. Soon, your new phone won’t be new anymore, and you won’t be excited about it. You’ll need a new one. The same can be said about your car, or your “insert blank.” Happiness is about “who,” not “what.” Happy people are at peace with God, others, and themselves. Sin undermines peace because it separates you from God, others, and yourself by substituting things for people. Sin makes a happy promise it can’t keep. Sin isn’t your friend. When we opt for sin, we undermine our happiness and the happiness of those closest to us. This stands in stark contrast to what we are all tempted to believe: that God gets in the way of our happiness. The truth is, when we resist God, we resist happiness. God provides the way to happiness. We create regrets when we abandon peace with ourselves, others, and God, when choosing unhealthy pursuits of happiness in isolation from God.

Confession for today: “Today Jesus I ask you to help me to be content with everything I have, and not give into the temptation of want and sin, so that I will be happy, at peace, and a blessing to those I’m around.”

Living for Today,

Mr. Tom.