How Happy Do You Want To Be?
For the purpose of this study I shall categorize people in eight different levels of happiness or lack thereof. There are people who are unhappy, unhappier, unhappiest and hopelessly unhappy. There are also people who are happy, happier, happiest and sublimely happy.
This study shall be rather unscientific and not as Biblically precise as I would prefer. It shall be based on my observations. It is relevant that I have probably only observed a couple of thousand people in the approximate 25 years that I have been a Christian. And I have closely observed only a few dozen of those. The categories are rather broad and somewhat elastic.
Some people who are unhappy are those who are not Christians but think that they are. They do many good things because they believe that doing good things makes them Christians or proves they are Christians. They somehow avoid what we humans consider the worst sins . . . murder, bank robbery etc. They do not know that in God*s economy the worst sin is rejecting His Son, Jesus Christ. Some unhappy people believe that they need not become Christians.
The unhappier people do almost nothing good. They are into heavy duty evil. Drugs, porn, theft, lust, murder and dishonesty come to mind.
The unhappiest people are so far down the food chain that they lead other people into the afore-mentioned evils and worse ones. They profit by leading others into evil. Drug dealers, pimps and people who pay others to commit murder come to mind. The people who are most firmly fixed in this category are those who lead people away from Jesus Christ. Their specific unhappiness is usually quite well-hidden. If their unhappiness were obvious they would not be successful in leading others astray.
The hopelessly unhappy are unbelievers who have died. They are in the place known variously as Hell, Hades, Sheol or the Place of Torments. They know trusting Christ had been their personal responsibility and they had shirked it. They are greatly tortured by an awareness of what the people in Paradise are experiencing and the knowledge that they too could have had it. They know they shall be cast into the Lake Of Fire eternally.
The happiness that seems to exist in the above categories is deceptive, superficial, artificial and temporary. It only resembles real happiness.
Proverbs 14:13: Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
Malachi 3:15: And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
Hebrews 11:24-25: By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh*s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Christians are the happy people. But some of them have very little understanding of the happiness that is available to them. Sometimes they forget they are Christians. They dabble in some of their former sins. They are not as separated from the world as the Lord wants them to be. Their level of happiness is at a low-level and sporadic. They have not been properly taught about Christianity or have stubbornly avoided that teaching. They have not had good examples. They still have a measure of admiration for the Ungodly and worldly. They don*t understand that it is the Lord that gives happiness. They seek happiness in wrong places from wrong sources.
The happier Christians are those that are committed to The Word of God, The Bible. They study it and enjoy it often.
The happiest Christians are those who have permitted The Word of God to change them and their lives the most. They get their greatest happiness when the Word of God and the Love of God flows through them to others. Serving others is a way of life for them.
The sublimely happy are Christians who have died and are in the presence of the Lord. They know they are there for all of eternity. They know they did not deserve to be there. That knowledge greatly increases their enjoyment.
Psalms 16:11: Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
The categories of happiness in which you will participate are up to you. You determine your level of happiness in this life and the next by the choices you make.
Care to discuss How Happy Do You Want To Be? with Ron?