The Surprise Summer Page-Turner

Our Right to be Happy by Peter Yaremko

Posted on: September 8th, 2016



With the celebration this weekend of Independence Day in the United States, we remember that God's mercy can be witnessed in the freedom he offers us...and because of the way he loves us.

It's when we buy into the idea that I have a "right to be happy" that we fool ourselves at the cost of failed marriages, unprofitable ambitions, unhappy lives.  Freedom is a very big deal in the Gospel.  However, freedom in the New Testament means something very different from the way we commonly understand that word today.

When Jesus says that, "The truth will make you free" (John 8:36), he does not mean free to pursue personal happiness.

When St. Paul says that, "it is for freedom Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1), he does not mean we now have permission to satisfy our every impulse and whim.  Quite the contrary.

Valuing ourselves only according to our successes and satisfactions is to miss the point of Christ's message.  Paula Huston writes in her book, A Season of Mystery, that Jesus is the way to inner happiness.  Contentment, she writes, comes by valuing ourselves as our merciful God does--simply for who we are.

Our prayer today: Lord Jesus, we thank you for loving us just as we are and for teaching us the way to true freedom and true happiness.

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