Monday, 21 April 2014

The Four “P’s”

"The King" Elvis Presley
Pleasure, prosperity, position, and popularity will make us happy or so our culture would have us believe.  If that is the case why are so many seemingly happy, wealthy, popular figures so miserable?  How many popular musicians have overdosed?  How many high profile actors and actresses have multiple divorces, failing to find happiness in any of them?  How many well-known politicians have behaved in ways that would indicate they need more than fame and fortune.

’Don’t you think that if happiness was to be our most gratifying accomplishment while here on earth that God would have made mention of that is His Word?  But then again almost everything that God thinks is important is counter-cultural.

God seems to think that loving Him with all of our body, mind, soul, spirit and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves trumps happiness.  The Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians, chapter five, verses 22-23 is faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, joy, kindness, love, patience, peace, self-control.  Happiness did not make the top ten.

Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if anyone who has inhabited this earth deserves to be happy it would have been Jesus?  Yet, He seemed to derive pleasure from giving to people and doing for people.  Talk about prosperity – Satan offered Jesus “…all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, if only Jesus would worship him.  That seems like a small price to pay for such prosperity and position. Jesus response was “For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”  Even Satan didn’t offer happiness as one of the highest values.

How ironic is it that happiness is one of the carrots that Satan offers to us today.  Many of us believe we are entitled to happiness.

So what’s the point?  How many couples are struggling in their marriage because one or both of the partners is not happy?  How often are sex and/or money a contributor to unhappiness?  Affairs, pornography, highly erotic novels, and flirtatious chat rooms have theoretically paved the way to pleasure and happiness.  Ask the one who is sexually addicted how fulfilled they are feeling?  Ask the spouse who has been cheated on how happy he/she is?

Few arguments occur over having too much money.  “Dear please stop bringing home so much money, I just can’t spend it all fast enough.”  If that is your problem I’ll give you my bank routing and account numbers.

As goofy as it sounds, perhaps giving to others and doing for others might bring joy and happiness to you.  Maybe if we sought to be filled with the Fruit of the Spirit we could find fulfillment in our marriages and in our work.

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