Four Things to Know About Happiness (From the Christian Worldview)

happiness depends on character which depends on God

The Christian faith, and its ancient interpreters are in agreement about many things.

One, that happiness is what we are meant for. We had original happiness (bliss) in the garden. We will have it one day in the future, either in the New Heavens and New Earth where there are no more tears.

Two, that happiness is not based on what you have around you, but what you have inside you. In other words, it is the interior world of virtue, character and morality that is necessary for true happiness. 

Three, that we cannot by ourselves make ourselves good. We need the presence, work and the grace of God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God recreates us into his image. God gives us his own virtue and renews us in the image of Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is given to us. 

Four, that we cooperate in a willing and faithful partnership with God to more fully become what we are declared to be. Holy, godly, righteous, Christ-like...

This is the essential understanding of happiness that is lost in our culture today. So we are bored, restless, anxious, cynical, sad, and much worse. The endless pursuit of the things of the earth, apart from the pursuit of the virtuous Christ will only lead to more sadness.

This is part of the Gospel, the Good News. 

It is a message that is urgently needed, and one that is not easily heard. It will take great skill, long patience, and lots of love to communicate this. May God's grace be with all of us, so we may experience true happiness, and point others in this way.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

BrianRice@lcileaders.org


p.s.  
I wrote a short workbook for Living Word Community Church,
Jesus Encoutners: Embracing the Life of Christ, to be a resource to help people with this very thing.

Two good books I highly recommend are Gary Thomas - The Glorious Pursuit,
and James Smith - The Good and Beautiful God.