A man recently died in San Diego County. His motto for life was “Be Happy.” A lady also recently died. She believed her purpose in life was to feel good about herself and help others feel good about themselves. An old song said, “Smile when your heart is breaking. Smile even though it’s aching.” U-T, 8/10/16
All of the above can be good if tempered with reality. Undisciplined, however, they ruin, not build human lives. What, after all, is our purpose on earth? And where do we find the answer?
Christians look past all human suggestions straight to the only 66 absolutely true books in history. And when we do, we find no place where the Bible says that humans live to feel good about themselves. Or to make others feel good about themselves. Nor do we find it teaching “just be happy.” And nowhere to “smile, whatever.”
The Bible instead posits God Almighty—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as the One Person to whom we should be reconciled. At peace with him through Christ, we tolerate ourselves, whether just now gloomy as Hamlet or gleeful as an Olympic Gold Medalist. We live comfortably while experiencing privation; and safely while facing danger.
II Corinthians 5:5 says that God made us to find eternal life in Christ. Why would we settle for feeling good about ourselves? In II Thessalonians 4:13 the Apostle Paul allows that we grieve when loved ones die, see Acts 8:2, but not “like the rest of men, who have no hope.” Christianity—unlike Stoicism, which forbids sorrow, and unlike some Puritans who considered weeping for the dead as un-Christian—admits the full-range of human feelings, but harnesses all to the purpose for which God made us.
Let others settle for lesser goals in life to avoid admitting that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself II Corinthians 5:18-19. Christians are neither amused nor misled by such worthless humanism, however much disguised in religious terms. No, we pay the price God demands—accepting his presence in Christ—to find the SURE purpose for life, not an EASY one. The sure one, that never gets insecure; not an easy one which, in the end, forfeits our self—the very thing we can least afford and most of all want to keep.