Happiness - that is. I saw an interview with some actor - Matt Damon. He said he wasn’t sure where to find happiness but he was sure of one thing. Money wouldn’t buy it.
Is there a formula for finding happiness? Do we even know how to define happiness? For some it’s sex. For others it’s found in having more stuff than the next person. For this person it’s a cabin on a quiet lake while for that guy happiness can be found in helping the poor. Some people bristle at the very thought that there might be a formula or rules for finding happiness. That’s because in their mind, rules, by their very nature keep us from achieving happiness. Happiness, to these people is found in breaking the rules.
In a broader sense, humans seems to break the hunt for happiness into two general categories.
. One category is to create a set of behaviours and thoughts. Moral and physical discipline is the key.
. The other category is to do away with discipline and follow your desires. Go where your heart says to go. “Anything that feels this right can’t be wrong,” is a conclusion that flows from this philosophy.
Jesus takes us in a completely different direction. Jesus, our Creator, Guide, Counsellor, Saviour and Lord says that happiness now, here on earth can only be found by developing a certain kind of character. A character that resembles His.
“Follow Me,” Jesus said. Be like Me. Do what I do in My relationship with you and with others.
As a saying on my sister’s fridge goes. “Character is who you are when no one is looking.”
By following Jesus, we become men and women of integrity. By allowing Jesus to change us from within, we become people who can look at ourselves in the mirror and not be ashamed.
When my brother-in-law (married to the sister I mentioned above) was applying for a job, he mentioned that he was engaged to the daughter of Clarence Holmgren. The employer who had known my dad for decades said to my brother-in-law, “Any man who is good enough for Clarence Holmgren is good enough for me,” and hired him on the spot.
That’s what Jesus will do for you. That kind of character goes all the way through a person and shows itself no matter where you cut into it. The kind of character that Jesus develops within us is steady as rain. We become the same on the inside as we present on the outside.
Happiness is not found in a formula or in challenging rules. Happiness is found in a healed and forgiven relationship with your Creator.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”
“Those who wait upon the Lord are like Mount Zion. Unmoved by any circumstance.”