Jump directly to the Content

Happiness Is a Serious Business

We need to adopt a new theology if we're going to celebrate.

People often divide Christianity into two attitudes toward pleasure and happiness.

There are those who are ascetic and austere. Life is no laughing matter. Seriousness is next to godliness. Read James 4:9 and Ecclesiastes 2:2.

Then there are the shiny, happy people. Life is good. Drink it up. Read Nehemiah 8:10 and Ecclesiastes 3:12.

How do we unite the two attitudes? By understanding and adopting a theology of happiness—one that is both serious and joyful.

Jesus taught about the theology of happiness in the Beatitudes. He described it as being blessed. Blessedness is deep, lasting, spiritual, and accessible, not circumstantial, tangible, and emotional. Blessedness is serious business. Blessedness doesn't come from this world and its cheap version and understanding of the word happy; it comes from the eternal perspective. It isn't from human resources, but divine.

God is a happy God, described as blessed in 1 Timothy 1:11. And since his happiness and our happiness are bound together, we can only be truly happy if we're connected to him.

So I can conclude that if I'm not happy, I'm not satisfied with God. I've chased a false happiness; I've invested in less than the best. It is our sacred duty to be happy in God.

Think about those affected by your attitude when you're unhappy. God isn't glorified, you aren't satisfied, your family isn't nurtured, and others aren't drawn to Christ. Who is drawn to a God whose followers are miserable?

So celebrate your life in Christ today.

[Q] Name something that made you happy temporarily, but then wore off. Describe the last thing that truly made you happy over the long haul.

[Q] Name at least three things that indicate why we should be happy in God, according Psalm 16:11. What comes to mind when you hear the word pleasure? Does this verse change the way you think about this word?

Make a Change: Make a list of the things you think would make you happy. These should be worldly things that anyone would want. Then make a list of spiritual blessings from Ephesians 2:1-10. Discuss with a friend any contrast between the two.

Excerpted from The Beatitudes: Happiness Is a Serious Business. To download this study, go to ChristianBibleStudies.com.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up for our Weekly newsletter: CT's weekly newsletter to help you make sense of how faith and family intersect with the world.

Attitude; Blessings; Celebration; Joy; Laughter
Today's Christian Woman, April , 2010
Posted April 1, 2010

Read These Next

  • Editor's Note
    The spiritual discipline of celebration.
  • The Best Laugh
    How to teach the difference between godly hilarity and hurtful "humor"
  • Christian Mindfulness
    Learning how to be awake and alive

Comments

Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

Follow Us

More Newsletters

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
RSS