Sunday, January 18, 2009

Does God want us to be happy?

That was the title of a 2005 Time Magazine article that appeared as a link at the bottom of this recent posting on The link leads to what looks like a table of contents. The only actual article I've been able to read from there, though, is The New Science of Happiness (printable version here).

This is well worth a read. I found it very interesting that things that tend to make us happy are also things that God commands. I'll admit to having some bias here (no, really!) but here's my take on it. I think I stumbled upon this last item recently, as I wrote last month. It's also not completely unrelated to something I heard about satisfaction at work: "If your job uses only 10% of your abilities, you'll be 90% bored." (Or dissatisfied. Or something.)

Bottom line: Does God want us to be happy? I think yes. Besides the above, I see Jesus's comments in Luke 14:8-11 as helping us to get what we want and to be happy. He's realistic, in other words; he knows we want to be honored by others and he accepts that. He doesn't say, "Don't desire that!" Instead, he tacitly approves of the desire, but tells us how to get what we want. Because he knows what we're like; he remembers that we are but dust.

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