A few weeks ago I published an article on The Myth of Happiness as an obstacle to healing. It was quite popular, and it seems, timely. I’ve seen a couple of articles this week that have confirmed my point and taken it a step or two further.
The first, Why God Doesn’t Care if You’re Happy by Joseph Mattera, could have been a take-off on my article. It reinforces the idea that God has much bigger goals than my happiness. The second, The Osteen Predicament: Mere Happiness Cannot Bear the Weight of the Gospel, is one of many articles being published on the statements by Victoria Osteen, wife of Joel Osteen, who declared that it’s our happiness that give God his greatest joy. Author Albert Mohler takes both the Osteens and the Prosperity Gospel to task. When we focus on our own personal happiness, we degrade the true Gospel and discount the blood of the martyrs over the two millennia of Christendom.
Despite this, many American Christians simply can’t wrap their heads around the idea that their individual happiness isn’t foremost in God’s heart and mind. If we as a Church hope to have any effectiveness in a post-Christian culture, we need to seriously rethink our personal theology. We need to value conformity to the image of Christ far more than our personal happiness.