Happiness & Love

When I signed in to check my FaceBook page this morning, I noticed something that caught my eye.  If you have FaceBook, you know there are always ads for something on the top right of your page when you sign in (like the “Bacon Makes it Better” t-shirt – ugh, when will they get a new ad?).  Well, this morning it was for Disney’s new movie, “The Princess and the Frog” and underneath the ad, there was a survey asking “If you had one wish, what would it be?”  The options: Fame, Happiness, Love.  I chose love.

The results as of 10:06am are: Fame, 9%; Happiness 46%; Love 45%.

That’s not really too surprising, but I do think it’s insightful.  In our world where it seems like everyone’s an aspiring Reality TV star and is trying to get as many “friends” on their FaceBook page to prove how popular they are, that statistic is really telling.  What people are after isn’t Fame, it’s Happiness and Love!

It’s also interesting to me that so many people chose happiness over love, as if happiness doesn’t flow out from love.  I can’t help but asking myself how many teenagers from divorced/abusive/dysfunctional families simply don’t connect happiness and love anymore.

Yet, at the same time, we should make a distinction.  I think part of the problem is that we so often think that love’s purpose is to make us happy, rather than to make the other person happy.  Even the word “happy” doesn’t quite fit the bill, does it?

I believe that the deepest longing in the human soul is for love – and that our craving for the love of others is a mirror and a shadow of that even deeper craving for God’s love.

Here are a few of my favorite passages in the Bible about God’s love for us:

  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8 NIV)
  • “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brother”  (1 John 3:16–17 NIV)
  • “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…. We love because he first loved us.”  (1 John 4:9–12, 19 NIV)

The amazing thing about God as revealed through the Holy Bible is that He loves the unlovely.  I am very aware that most nonChristians think that Christians think they’re “better” than others and more worthy of God’s love, and some Christians (sadly) do support that notion.  But that’s simply not the case.

I answered “Love” in that survey mentioned above.  Because that’s what I want the most, that’s what I need the most, and I know that’s what I’m the least deserving of.  But God gives it anyway.

Praise be to Jesus Christ for loving me all the way to the cross, may I have the courage to follow his lead…

3 thoughts on “Happiness & Love

  1. altonwoods December 16, 2009 / 11:49 am

    In my mind happiness will always be based on what “happens” which puts us at the mercy of events and circumstances,holding our sense of well being hostage.

    I am therefore much more persuaded to simply accept the gift of joy which was expressed to us by God through His Son!

    It’s like the difference between renting and owning,and it affects every aspect of our lives. Most of the problems people have are the result of our attempting to understand/interface with God and love.

    • ebccrosswalk December 16, 2009 / 11:58 am

      Very well said.

  2. Lauren Cope December 17, 2009 / 10:55 am

    How very true! I will be praying that all the teenagers read this, as to many of them, being the next Miley Cyrus or Tom Brady is paramount. As adults, we know that being who God created us to be, is what brings true joy and happiness. God’s love in us, enveloping us, and then reaching out to others through us; oh how sweet the sound! Well written Mike!

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