Monday, June 9, 2014

Obessed With Happiness

Our world has an obsession with happiness. A lot of people are constantly pursuing happiness; often in positive ways, and often in negative ways. Happiness is not a bad thing at all-yet, many base that happiness on things that won’t last. People are so obsessed with the idea of happy, that it has led many to distort God’s word in the process.

Does our wish for happiness for ourselves as well as others get in the way of how God would have us to live? If that’s the case, we’re looking for happiness or encouraging others to find it in ways God never intended for us to find it.

Many religious people today have bought into the lie that a person’s happiness should be preserved at all costs. Many believe that it is wrong and unloving to tell someone that they are doing something that displeases God.

As soon as you tell someone that they are wrong, they always say, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

They are throwing this part of scripture horribly out of context. The problem lies in the fact that many do not take the time to read ahead or study the context in which it is being said. (As a matter of fact, when you tell us we're wrong for judging you're also judging us for judging. Interesting paradox, huh?)

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or, how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your own eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:1-5)

Jesus is not saying here that we shouldn’t judge . He’s saying to make sure to be careful in how you approach the situation. We have to remember that when we are making a judgment we must also remember that we also are not above the law (the religious leaders of Jesus' day often thought this way). We must examine our intentions behind bringing this issue up to the person. We must also consider if we are committing the same sin.  If we were not supposed to judge in any way, Jesus would not have said in John 7:24: “…judge with righteous judgment.”

When we judge, it must be done from a place of wanting to help others and to please God.

The bible says, “to speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). We are to tell the truth of the entire Gospel, including what God expects of us as His followers. To speak this truth, we must speak it with patience,  and kindness. We must speak it without jealousy, and without pride or arrogance. We must speak it without rudeness, without selfishness, and without anger (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

 In this passage, in verse 6 it says, “[Love] does not rejoice in sin, but rejoices with the truth.” The bible also says in Ephesians 5:11, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless seeds of darkness, rather, expose them.” (emp. Added)

So we are to judge, but in the way described above-with great care, love, and honesty.

If we as Christians wish someone happiness in something God has deemed wrong, we are being dishonest to our fellow man. In Romans chapter one, it lists things that God has deemed sinful (26-31). In verse 32 it says, “…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” (emp. Added) Those who applaud and encourage those doing wrong are just as sinful in God’s eyes.

Encouraging others in their sin, even in the name of happiness, would be dishonoring to their God to show support of something He has said is sin. 
That being said, you can live anyway that you want, you have that free will to do so, and we can’t stop you. That is a decision you have to make, but know that God's word says it won't lead anywhere good. (Matthew 7:13)

Happiness in this life is not our main goal. Our goal as Christians should be to live for the next life, so that we can be with our savior in Heaven. That and only that is our ultimate prize (Philippians 3:14, 20-21). We as Christians find happiness in this life knowing that we are doing God's will and that He is going to take care of us (Matthew 6:25-33). We find contentment no matter what situation we find ourselves in because He is with us (Psalm 23, Philippians 4:11)

 But, the true followers of Christ see the physical things of little importance in the long term. We fear God first before man. (Matt. 12:4-5)

Sure, there are a lot of wonderful blessings in this world given to us by God, but there is also pain-and a lot of it. For us, we know that after we leave this life, there will be nothing but pure, awesome joy in the presence of our God (Revelation 21:4). When we tell you of His Word, and tell you something that may not be what you want to hear, we have the best of intentions. We just want the same joy and peace for others that we have for ourselves. 

I know what I've said isn't popular, and some may hate me after this article. Yet, I encourage you to go back and read the scriptures in the article. I'm only a messenger trying to spread God's word. I am writing this because I want everyone to know of the joy and peace that comes from God when you fully submit to Him and release the grasp on your life. The truth is, it's hard to keep what you are passionate about to yourself. I care about every soul reading this. You are loved very deeply by God (John 3:16).

Romans 10:17
Mark 16:16
James 2:17-26
Acts 2:38
Romans 10:9
Luke 13:5
Revelation 2:10

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