When You Believe in God But Pursue Happiness at Any Cost

On my way into work this morning, I churned on the question: What do I want? What is it that my soul keeps searching for? Why do I keep going through periods – even if just for half a day – of times where I feel so unsatisfied, so unhappy?

Considering what my life looks like, how ludicrous is it to feel unhappy ever? I have a beautiful and loving wife, two cute puppies, a full-time job, a great extended family, supportive friends, no debt, no addictions (well other than coffee), and the list goes on.

In other words, I feel like I contain no right to feel unhappy – ever.

Why do our souls feel unsatisfied sometimes?

Before I answer that question, this chapter in The Christian Atheists deals with people who believe “God’s ultimate plan for us is our happiness. As Christian Atheists, we can subtly believe in God and confidently pursue happiness at all costs” (165).

Let’s face it: “We’re bombarded with the message to bow down and worship the false God of happiness” (166).

It’s a tired, decades-old critique of the world, but we can’t become numb to the truth of this statement.

I keep a Starbucks Via pamphlet in my rolling satchel (yes, a rolling satchel. I’m awesome). The Starbucks Via pamphlet says on the front: “How Starbucks Via Ready Brew can change your life.”

Change my life? Instant coffee?

Drive down any busy highway or watch commercials for a short period of time and the message we are bombarded with is: This product will finally satisfy you. Do whatever it takes to make yourself happy. You will finally be happy once you…

This is the American Dream, is it not? We have a right to pursue happiness, so we’re told.

So why do our souls feel unsatisfied often times? In short, it’s because Earth is NOT heaven. The World and its’ false promises are not God. Better possessions + peaceful circumstances + thrilling experiences + the right relationships + the perfect appearance = happiness – so the world says.

And yet, 100 times out of a 100, the “pursuit of happiness through stuff is doomed to fail because it is based on a lie.”

I know pursuing happiness will lead me down an empty road. And yet I still try sometimes. I know that my life is better circumstantially than 99% of the world. And yet, I find myself unsatisfied sometimes.

How do we quiet the Christian Atheist inside of us and seek God and his kingdom over the empty false promises of the world? (172).

I’m still working on that one.

Wherever you are at, know this: The pursuit of happiness is not the ultimate dream and will never completely satisfy your soul. Seek God through Jesus and drink of the living water, and your soul will never go thirsty.

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