Happiness. Some people think they’re guaranteed happiness in The U.S. Constitution. Most people want to be happy but many find it more elusive than the end of a rainbow.
For the record, the Constitution says nothing about happiness. The Declaration of Independence stated that all men should be free to pursue happiness. I’d say most of us didn’t need express permission for that one.
During his final night before his crucifixion, Jesus Christ unlocked the secret to happiness.
Most of us don’t like the truth presented by our Lord so we tend to pretend he wasn’t talking about the kind of happiness we’re seeking.
You know, I’m happy at work because my boss is great, my coworkers are responsible and my paycheck reflects how valuable I am to my employer. I’m happy at home because my children do all their chores without grumbling and my husband never forgets to thank me for dinner, even when it’s under or overcooked.
The happiness we think we want is based on circumstances being ideal and people responding the way we want.
What Jesus Did
Take a look at John chapter thirteen.
It begins with a prolific statement about Christ understanding his identity and knowing his value to God.
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to GodJohn 13:3 KJV
Then our Lord strips down to his undergarments, pours water in a bowl, wraps a towel around his waist and sits down to wash the filthy feet of his disciples.
This chore was reserved for the lowest servant in a household. Yes, foot washing was commonly performed by hosts for their guests. Every man sitting in that room understood the significance of what Jesus was doing.
And Peter protested. We wouldn’t expect him to stay silent.
But after Jesus rebuked him, Peter acquiesced to being served by the Son of God.
What Jesus Said
“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.John 13:15 &17 KJV
Happiness will not come because we chased after it. We shouldn’t treat it like a prize to be won in perfect circumstances.
Happiness comes when we understand that Jesus gave an example of service and promised that if we followed that example, we would be happy.
I can imagine the disciples gaping at our Savior when he told them this.
These are the same guys who argued about which of them would be the greatest once Jesus set up his kingdom. You can bet they didn’t see anything distinguished in serving each other.
But God’s ways are not our ways. Nope. They are much higher.
He created us and knows perfectly well what will satisfy the deepest yearning of our soul. He knows we crave happiness.
If we want to be happy, the key is to take our eyes off ourselves and what we want. We turn our gaze to other people and how we can help them, and that’s when true happiness hatches.
I know it’s true. Some of my happiest moments came while I did things for other people who needed my help. Even better when they appreciated it.
How do you feel about this key to happiness? Have you experienced the truth of it?