It is becoming more and more common to hear from a self-declared Christian, “I deserve to be happy”, or “I believe God wants me to be happy”. At first glance, either proposition sounds plausible. Why wouldn’t you want to be happy and why wouldn’t God want you to be happy?
A simple test for anyone who is serious about his or her relationship with God should be this one. For me to be “happy” must I engage in activities God forbids? An honest answer to that question should be the end of the story. A serious disciple of Jesus would immediately realize the foolishness of pleasing self instead of the Savior.
Christian counselors regularly are confronted with situations like this. A person will come in for counsel, a supposed Christian, and say something like this.
I believe it is God’s will for me to divorce my wife and marry another woman I have met because I’m not happy. I believe God wants me to be happy and she will make me happy.
Isn’t it incredible that a grown man would become so twisted in his reasoning that he comes to the place that he believes it’s OK to break any of God’s laws necessary so that he can be “happy”? Over and over deceived men and women fall into the trap of living to please themselves instead of living to please God. The Bible calls this living to please the “flesh”. The human body has built into it appetites for food and drink, sexual fulfillment, wanting things someone else has, and the approval of others. All of these natural desires must be restrained to some degree or the creature will self destruct.
People who give in completely to their desire for food and drink often fill early graves because over eating and drinking can kill you. People who do not control their desire for other people’s stuff go to jail for stealing, and those who don’t control their sexual appetite become sexual deviants who allow their unrealistic sexual desires which leads them to ruin.
God wants you to be Holy, not Happy
It is those who actively and on purpose deny self who find peace, joy, and maybe even happiness. Over and over the Scriptures warn people of faith to live to please God and not ourselves. God’s unique design for humans includes the best way to live our lives under his Lordship. In the Bible there are rules and principals about eating, drinking alcohol, how we treat our neighbors, about sexual expression, and other disciplines, that if followed, will lead to a life full of peace, joy, and hope.
Jesus came into the world and lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead, precisely because if left to our own devices, everyone of us will self destruct by living full throttle to please our base desires. Jesus came to save us, to make us righteous, to make us a holy people, a people for his name. A bonus of living a Christ centered life is His people are usually the happiest, most fulfilled people anywhere.
Pay day someday
Please, don’t be deceived. God’s law of sowing and reaping is just as sure as the law of gravity. If you jump off a tall building you will pay the consequences. And, if you live for your base desires you will reap a whirlwind. Don’t be stuck on stupid. Submit your life to God and try to do things his way. It’s the only way to live in peace.