Friday, August 30, 2013

Wanting to Be Happy Is a Virtue - and a Necessity

This perspective by C.S. Lewis has really ministered to me through a painful summer. Walter Hooper describes the virtue of Lewis's positive willingness to pursue his own happiness: "Lewis had his share – some would say more than his share – of worries. But, having done all in his power to solve them, he left the matter to God and got on with his work and pleasures. … Lewis really wanted and liked the happiness which the Divine Son died to give all men. …in a letter to his brother … he says, 'I begin to suspect that the world is divided not only into the happy and the unhappy, but into those who like happiness and those who, odd as it seems, really don’t.'" (Introduction to The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses)

The world will give us plenty of reasons to be tempted by despair. We have to teach ourselves to unapologetically choose to be happy. Many people are sad, lonely, or depressed when they very much do not want to be. But it seems that not many of us feel the freedom to actively choose to cast away our anxieties and cares upon God and simply enjoy the life He has given us. (Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7.) It seems it is all too easy to succumb to sorrows and to become accustomed to being burdened by them, so much so that it almost feels unnatural and "guilty" to us to simply enjoy some free and unfettered happiness - as if we're somehow being selfish for having a carefree mind and unhindered joy. The Scriptures show that God Himself is supremely happy in being who He is and in the work He does. Then it follows that it is a quality of godliness to diligently seek to be as happy as we can in the ways God designed us to find our joy, however much we must work to get there. Happiness itself is a genuinely good thing of which God heartily approves.

No comments: