What’s the goal? Happiness?
Pretty much everyone on earth has had to ask themselves this one question sometime in their lives. Ask anybody what the meaning of life is. Though the answers will be mixed, most will say something like, “to be happy”, or “to have fun”.
But really, what IS the goal? What’s the purpose? Where’s the meaning?
Perhaps the question to be answered first is, what is happiness? Where does happiness fit in the large scheme of things. I mean, happiness is a good thing, right? God himself made emotions such as happiness, joy, contentment, etc.
In my opinion, happiness should not be a goal, but rather a reward. Happiness should almost be a byproduct of the true meaning of life. Because of this, if you’re looking for happiness, you will never really find it. The best way to find it is by looking for something else. Let me tell you what I mean.
God, in his wonderful design of creation, has made a rewards system. Just think about it. The best things in life come with rewards! For example, God made work a good thing. If you work hard, you get paid. If you physically work hard, you get stronger. Relationships definitely have rewards. Even service comes with rewards. Have you ever heard someone say that a missions trip helped them more than the people they were trying to help were helped (does that make sense)? God has wired rewards into our very beings. It’s part of being human.
When we seek after the reward itself is where things start getting messy.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”
1 Corinthians 9:24 (ESV)
When you run a race, you are running towards the finish line, not the gold medal.
Marriage is a good example. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT married! But I do have parents who agree with me on this. When two people go into marriage for their own benefit – for their own pleasure – that’s when marriages fail. It’s when they go into it selflessly, looking after the needs and cares of the other, that marriage really blooms.
Ever hear of a robbery? Of course you have! Because it happens way too often! The robbers are trying to get the reward the wrong way. They don’t want to work for it. They’re goal is selfish: they want the money to make them happy.
I’ve heard many say something like, “serve others because it’ll make you feel good!” Is that why we should obey God? Because it makes us feel good? Um… no.
So, if seeking the rewards (such as happiness, contentment, fulfillment) is not the answer, what is?
I challenge you to stop living for the rewards today. Start living for God, who selflessly sent his son, Jesus, to save you from the punishment of all the times you’ve fallen short of His standards.
So, what’s the meaning of life? To serve and glorify God.
See where THAT takes you.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart”