A pleasure-driven life is much different than a kingdom-driven life.
For instance, how often do we ask our children, “What do you want to be when you grow up? What will make you happy? We just want you to be happy!” As parents we are not trying to steer our children down a path of seeking pleasure and fulfilling selfish needs, denying the needs of others. We just sincerely want happiness for our children, with absolutely no malintent.
How many of us have asked our children, “What do you think God wants you to do with your life? Where do you think God wants you to go? Pray to God and listen to where He is guiding your life and follow God.” How many of us were asked that as children? Not many. Not because our parents didn’t love us but because we are not accustomed to thinking this way.
One way can lead a person to seeking pleasure in every aspect of life. The other path can lead a person to serve in every aspect of their life. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy, but if every goal you have is wrapped up in seeking pleasure, then have you found your purpose in life to be pleasing yourself?
One of my students challenged this idea and said, “You think God wants us to serve others instead of making ourselves happy?”
To which I said, “Yes, I do!”
He said, “Don’t you try to make yourself happy? Or do you just want to serve God’s purpose?”
I answered, “I want to serve God in all that I do. When I die I want God to say to me “welcome home my good and faithful servant. I want to serve God and follow Him, that’s what I do.”
For once, I think the entire class was listening.
Where are you in your life right now? Happiness is not bad and of course we all seek happiness. But when you begin to follow God’s lead and you find a purpose in your life beyond your own happiness, then happiness will follow. The feeling of contentment is overwhelming when you serve others needs before your own.
Copyright 2013 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp