“The pursuit of happiness” is certainly our heart’s default position. Every day we, by nature, want to experience feelings of pleasure, gladness and enjoyment. Unfortunately, at the present time, we live in a corrupted world, encased in corrupted bodies, pitted against a very powerful corrupted enemy who is bent on luring us with “harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). If we thoughtlessly follow our natural appetites we will undoubtedly fall into a snare which will lead to multiplied pain and misery (Proverbs 7:21-27).
While Christians should obviously value happiness and pleasure, we must recognize that most of it will need to be deferred to a more appropriate time and place. For now, the focus of our daily pursuit must be holiness not happiness. We should wake up each morning and say, “how can I be more holy today?” instead of asking “what can I do today that will make me happy?” This should also be our hope and prayer for others. We would be wise to say, “I want my kids to grow up to be holy” instead of saying “I just want them to be happy”.
“The pursuit of holiness” ought to be our Christian “Declaration” and resolve. So let’s consciously recalibrate and pursue holiness this week.