True happiness is not dependent on external circumstances. Genuine, abiding happiness is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a devotion to His word. This means that we can debunk two prevalent myths about happiness. One myth is that …
Happiness is feeling good and happy all the time.
If that’s your expectation, you’re in for a shocking surprise because life is just not like that. Face it, there are going to be down days. There are going to be days when it just doesn’t work out right, and you just do not feel good.
This myth is one of the reasons why our society goes so hog-wild over alcohol, drugs, and sex; because they assume that real happiness is all about these adrenaline rushes, these hits of excitement, these overwhelming senses of pleasure. So people just keep going from one hit to another, from one rush to the next, only to find that the more they get, the duller it becomes, and the worse it ends up feeling. It’s the law of diminishing returns. That’s why society, believing the myth that true happiness is feeling good all the time, and any kind of lubricant I can bring to my life to enable that feeling to happen is what really makes me happy, is in such a depth of despair.
The second prevalent myth is that…
Happiness is about what other people do for me.
It is easy to go through life saying…
- “I know why my parents exist. They exist to make me happy.”
- “I know why my church exists, so that it can make me happy.”
- “I know what money is for: my happiness.”
- “I know what purpose my friends serve. They’re all here to make me happy.”
If you live by that myth, with that expectation, you’re in for a shattering shock in life because God’s Word affirms that true happiness – let’s call it joy – is not all about your external circumstances. Instead, it is about you and your relationship, or lack of a relationship, with Jesus Christ, and how you view and react to the Word of God.
These are prevalent myths about happiness. Don’t believe the myths. Tomorrow we’ll continue to pursue happiness by understanding where it is not found.