Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happiness: the purpose of life?

I'm sure many of you have heard the new pop hit, Happy by Pharrell Williams. Now, I have to admit, when I first heard this song, I loved the catchy beat and the carefree feel. Each time I heard it on the radio, I would turn up the volume and jam along. But just the other day, Happy came on again, and this time I really listened to it. And this is what I heard:

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do


Yes, it's a nice cheerful song that makes you smile. But something struck me as fundamentally wrong with this theology. Is life really all about just being happy? Is happiness the truth? I personally don't believe so.

This post is really not all about happiness. It's about the purpose of life. If we all just lived to be happy, we would make each other miserable. We are selfish beings; it's in our nature. If I lived solely to be happy, I wouldn't stop at red lights, or be so careful with my budget, or let the little old lady get in front of me in line. No one would care about the well-being of anyone else. How horrible would that world be?

Luckily, we do have a purpose. That purpose is given to us as children of God. Our heavenly Father has a job for us to do: to improve this messed up world by showing Christ's love to those around us. How do we do this? By holding the door open for strangers, by inviting neighbors over for dinner, by being aware of how our purchases affect those who made the product. Even when it's uncomfortable.

So, no, happiness does not equal truth. My idea of truth is not "being happy". Truth is something unseen, almost intangible. It's not exactly a feeling, but a concept more concrete. Paul calls faith the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we cannot see. Then truth must be the actual thing that we hope for. For me that something is Christ. And living out that truth is knowing our role in life and fulfilling it with a willing heart. It's being a servant. The truth tells us that we should love our Creator above anything, and love our neighbors as ourselves. I believe that if we do this, we will find our true happiness in Christ. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this blog! You are right on the mark.