The Whole Duty of Man

*From the February issue of Katharos Now.  A website for Christian teen girls.  Check it out here!


Happiness for me is a cup of Snickers flavored hot coffee in my hand as I sip the flavorful goodness while reading a good book.  It is that perfect pair of slippers, a beautiful sunrise, a comforting verse from the Word of God, a victory for my favorite team, the laughter of my children, a prayer answered, and a kiss on the forehead from my hubby.  For you gals, it can be a 3 pointer at the buzzer, an A on the test you have studied for for weeks, a text from that cute guy, realizing something new from your daily Bible readings, a call from your bestie, or your parents acknowledging the fact that you actually ARE turning out to be pretty responsible.

 

Happiness is defined as “feeling or showing contentment, satisfied with the quality or standard of, or having a sense of confidence” in the New Oxford American Dictionary.  Where do we obtain true, raw happiness, and keep this happiness alive and well in our daily lives? I believe that the true secret to happiness is found in our faith in, and understanding of God, defining our purpose on this earth, and sharing ourselves with those around us.  If these three basic truths are understood, I believe we will have balance in our lives and a heart full of joy and peace.

 
Wise King Solomon was a man of great understanding.  In fact, he was the wisest man on earth.  He was blessed with great riches and wisdom and yet, in the book of Ecclesiastes, we see a man who lived life to the fullest in a worldly sense, and gained nothing.  He had a sense of unhappiness and regret as he wrote to the generation around him as he spoke of the wasted life he had lived.  He looked for happiness in worldly things and in the end, came up empty handed.  The book of Ecclesiastes is dedicated to all of the things he did in vanity in search of contentment.  As the book comes to a close, wise King Solomon states, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.  For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

 
To live a life full of happiness, we must first have faith in the very being that created us and acknowledge His power. Secondly, we must realize that our very purpose on this earth is to fear God and keep His commandments.  Jesus stated this fact in Mark 12:30.  To be truly happy, we must live obedient lives to God.  And the final secret to happiness is to share this faith and this purpose with others.  In doing this, you will win souls over to God, and you will have a Christian support system to share in your Christian walk.  Sure, we cannot be happy all of the time, that is just not possible, but if we live a life with purpose, happiness will always be evident.  Without a purpose, or a sense of belonging, we cannot obtain that peace which causes happiness to develop.

 
Is finding happiness in worldly things wrong?  No, but we must have a balance.  King Solomon forgot this important balance as he became greedy with his treasures.  We all have certain things that bring a smile to our face and warmth in our heart.  These things become even more special when we thank and acknowledge the wonderful Creator who gave such things to us.  We will be able to achieve a certain type of contentment that will sustain us through the times we feel as if we have no joy left within us.  This contentment comes from our faith and belief in God, our earnest want to serve Him, and our hearts full of love as we share this secret with the world around us.

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