The pursuit of happiness will be futile if it is happiness itself which is being sought. Happiness can only be experienced as a fruit of seeking after that which endures.
Sammy Rhodes writes about modern relationships and the reasons they founder:

Wanting happiness isn’t a bad thing. It’s a human thing. The problem is that happiness is less something we can directly seek than it is a by-product of seeking the right things in the right ways. Happiness is like the endorphins that flow after a good workout. They’re a result of hunting another goal, not something you can get your hands on directly. They only come by working out. Or so I hear. I’m less a work-out guy, more a work—in guy. And by that I mean most days I like to work on getting an entire bag of chips inside me.
Jesus told us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his’ righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). Blessings, like happiness, come as we focus our eyes on something other than those blessings. Jesus is teaching us here to think less like consumers and more like himself a covenant—making and covenant—keeping God. If Jesus had let happiness determine his choices, the cross would have never happened. Jesus’ choices were driven by his covenant promises, first to God, then to us.

Sammy Rhodes, This Is Awkward, Thomas Nelson, 2016, pgs 93-94.

2 thoughts on “Happiness Is Not A Goal In Itself, It Is The Product Of Seeking The Right Goals (via Sammy Rhodes)

  1. The opening paragraphs of Paul letters to the congregations include a wish for their happiness:
    Charis (freely given kindness) kai eirene (and peace) from God the Father and of Christ Jesus our Lord.
    That happiness isn’t “pursued”; it’s a free gift.
    “Happiness”? “Happy” in the the Gospel tongue is (m.sing.) “Makarios” pl “Makarioi”, the first word of each of the Beatitudes (latin = Beati sunt qui~~)
    I prefer “HAPPY are they who~~” to “Blessed”, with its nuance of smug entitlement.

    1. Gary Ware says:

      That’s true.
      The idea of the life portrayed in the beatitudes as being a true life of happiness reflects the idea of God’s gift of life and living being actively received and lived out.

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