What about your life makes you happy?
Does your spouse make you happy, despite their quirks and flaws? Do your kids make you happy, despite their foolish and selfish behavior?
Does your job make you happy, even though sometimes you wish you didn’t have to work? Does your house make you happy, even though it might not be the HGTV house of your dreams?
Does your church make you happy, even though the pastor might not be the best communicator or the worship isn’t your ideal style? Do your friends make you happy, despite the occasional mess that comes with these relationships?
From a distance, or at least on Instagram, most of us portray happy lives. Sure, there is suffering and imperfection, but by and large, life is good. Our marriage, our family, our career, our friendships, and our activities are blessings from the Lord.
And from a distance, too, most of us appear to pursue godly lives. We aren’t overtly breaking any of the Bible’s commands, and we attend church, participate in ministry activities, and try our best to be good neighbors.
But I need to say something that may hurt your feelings: maybe what appears to be godly isn’t so godly after all.
Being ungodly is not just about committing a certain list of sins. Being ungodly is also about finding fulfillment anywhere outside of God.
Living for Christ is indeed fulfilling, but many times, we don’t find him fulfilling because we’re too busy being fulfilled with the temporary pleasures of the created world.
If you were to be completely honest with yourself and with the Lord this morning, is there any possibility that you are too happy with your life?
I don’t doubt that you and I are committed to live as the Bible says, but within the borders of this overtly committed Christian lifestyle, something significant is amiss: we have unwittingly chased after joy in something other than the Lord.
Now, let me say this: it’s not sinful to enjoy your spouse, your kids, your home, your career, your church and your friends. Of course not! They are blessings from the Lord, for which we should be deeply thankful.
However, the Bible suggests that between our coming to know Christ and our eternal home going, the default language of our hearts should be groaning (Romans 8:22-25).
As Christians, we’re supposed to groan because we live in a broken world and the work of redemption is not yet complete, both in our own hearts and in our communities.
But I know for myself, I probably don’t groan as much as I should. I probably don’t look outside of my own comfort as much as I should to see the ravages of sin. I probably have found more happiness than I ought in the created world.
What about you?
Let’s enjoy blessing from the Lord, but let’s pursue the Giver himself more than his gifts. Let’s groan more, with an awareness of others and a sense for remaining redemption. Let’s long for the Lord’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and let’s ask how we can play a part.
- What about your life makes you happy?
- Are you not thankful enough for these gifts, and in ways even entitled to what God has given you?
- Is there any evidence that you are too happy with your life?
- Why should you groan as a Christian? Give specific examples that are relevant to your life.
- How can your groaning motivate you to do God’s will on earth this week?
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Paul David Tripp is a pastor, author and conference speaker. He is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and works to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life.