Elder, David Kenser, shares a daily reflection and devotion.
Years ago, in California, I knew a preacher who left his wife of 25 years to hook up with a 25 year-old. His defense for his decision was, “God jut wants me to be happy.” Really? Is that indeed what God wanted was for him to leave his wife and children behind as he chased after a dream? My response was that I was pretty sure God wanted us to “rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Prov 5:18) not rejoice in your youthful wife.
I also challenge the very notion that “God just wants me to be happy.” I can find no where in the Bible where God suggests that he calls us to happiness. In contrast, my Bible says, “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16). True happiness that comes from a right relationship with God will be the result but it is not the prime pursuit of God’s faithful children.
As a point of fact, no good father truly just wants his child to be happy. I know we sometimes say that, but we don’t really mean it. Do we really want our child to do nothing but hang around the house playing video games 24/7 just because he enjoys it? Do we really want him to go out and get drunk every night just because he’s having fun? Do you want your child to drop out of school and move into your basement just because he is happier when you pay all the bills?
The answer to all the a over is NO! We want something better for our children. We don’t want them to just follow their whims, we want them to be prepared for life, to have something that they can be proud of, to do something worthwhile. We know that happiness will come as a result of accepting and overcoming challenges. The college graduate has so much more foundation than the high school dropout. As a parent, wouldn’t you agree and want your child to rise above?
God does want us to be a people that “rejoice” (Phil 4:4), but he wants to to rejoice “whatever the circumstances” (v. 11, 12). God, who is love, wants us to love. And love is never just about self. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” (Jn 3:16). True happiness comes from more from sacrifice and self-denial than fulfilling personal desires as “‘It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
When we say, “God just wants…,” we need to check the Source, God’s Word. God will not tell us to do what His Word tells us not to do, He will not encourage us to turn our backs on what the Bible discourages us doing: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (Js 1:22). Jus’ Say’n.