Christians Should Pursue Happiness

Posted: November 27, 2012 in Apologetics, Christians & Culture, Theology

The Christian life can be summed up this way: the pursuit and attainment of happiness. Yes, I said that. Happiness. Christians often feel guilty about talk of happiness, for many think they gave all that up when they decided to be a Christian. But this is far from the truth.

Man longs to be happy. Just look around and you will see that everyone is looking for happiness – they are passionate about the pursuit. It is fundamental to our humanity. Mathematician Blaise Pascal said, “Man wishes to be happy, and only wishes to be happy, and cannot wish not to be so.” This is a universal desire, and all our desires, at their root, are God given. He created us with this desire to be met by him. So pursue happiness, but find it in God. All else is empty, sinful, and ultimately destructive.

Consider these quotes by great Christian thinkers:

C.S. Lewis

“…Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Augustine

“The man who asks how he can enjoy the happy life is indeed asking just this: ‘Where is the highest good?’… the good which is called the supreme good is that good to which all others are referred. Every man is happy in the enjoyment of that for the sake of which he wants to have everything else. This is because it is loved for its own sake and not on account of something else. We call it the supreme good, because at this point we can find nothing toward which it can advance or to which it can be referred. In it is the resting place of desire…”

“[God] himself is the fountain of our happiness; he himself is the end of all our longing. In choosing him, or rather, since we had lost him through neglect, in re-choosing him…,we strive toward him by love, so that by attaining him we might rest, happy because we are perfected by him who is our end. Thus, our good, the end which is extensively disputed among the philosophers, is nothing other than to cling to him.”

John Calvin

“If God contains the fullness of all good things in himself like an inexhaustible fountain, nothing beyond him is to be sought by those who strive after the highest good and all the elements of happiness…”

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Jordan Tong

Comments
  1. John Cummins says:

    I understand your point, but disagree on the semantics. Happiness is the RESULT of the pursuit, but should not be that which is pursued. Jesus addressed this very issue, as given in Mattthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (“all things things” referred back to the daily needs that we worry about)
    We should pursue things of the Kingdom, and joy/ happiness/ contentment is promised to follow.
    Again, I don’t disagree with your premise of finding our happiness in God… But ‘happiness’ is the result of the pursuit, with God (Holiness) as the goal.
    Nice blog, by the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s