November 05, 2007

Does Jesus Make You Happy?

It's a fair question. I would argue it's the most important question in life. Recently, a well known blogger and author posted a list of things that made him happy:

  • The newly released album from the David Crowder Band.
  • When my wife makes me go play golf with my son--who now owns his first set of clubs.
  • Winning another fantasy football game.
  • The smell of the church atrium now that the coffee shop is open.
  • Finding out that I'm going to a conference after all
  • Yard moderation.
  • Our Sunday evening service
  • Learning that a friend is finally blogging
  • Watching a football athlete speak.
  • Discovering that iTunes has some competition
  • Our new king-size bed.
  • TV Shows
  • When someone delivers freshly brewed decaf coffee to my office mid-afternoon.
  • Spending time downtown
  • Watching my daughter play soccer.
  • Cool parts of my job
  • Planning my next trip to the beach.

What you'll find striking about this list is that Jesus didn't make the list. For that matter, God didn't make the list. Church made it. But God didn't. There's a big difference. I tried to point that out to the author. The author chose not to publish my comment on his blog. It appears asking why Jesus didn't make him happy was not an acceptable comment for others to see.

But now the question looms for all of us. If you published your list on the Internet, would Jesus make it? You see the list above lists sports, coffee, stuff, leisure, etc but is that truly where our happiness and joy as Christians is supposed to originate. How exactly is the list above any different than a garden-variety pagan's list?

I'd like to give the author the benefit of the doubt. I was willing to. I assumed it was just an editorial oversight. He really did love Jesus and Jesus actually did make him happy. He had just missed putting Jesus in the list. But given the fact that my comment was reviewed and not acted upon, I can only assume once the minor detail was brought to his attention, he still didn't think Jesus should be included.

Which is sad, because I think there are millions of Christians that would make their lists and not include Jesus in the mix. When you get right down to it, Jesus doesn't make them happy, He's just a drag on their life. Too many rules. Too many don'ts. Too many things He expects of me. That's not fun. That's not happy. That's oppressive. Give me my family, my food, my fun and that's what makes me happy. Don't get me wrong, those things make a lot of people happy, and in many respects, there's nothing wrong with those things bringing happiness to your life.

But Jesus should be # 1 on that list. And you should find all those others things enjoyable only because first you find enjoyment in Jesus. It's in Him that we have life, breath, and everything. He is the giver of all those other things. He is the reason you can live with a smile and not in terror fearing for your life before a Holy righteous God.

He is, in every meaningful way, the river of living water.

Now, if He could only find a way to make his way up in the rankings of things we love in life.

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