“We don’t have a ‘right’ to happiness, but a life well-lived will get us there,”  wrote Bonnie Gray.  She questioned “the pursuit of happiness” in  the American Declaration of Independence.  You know it states, that we have the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  She said, “of all the different purposes set before mankind, the most disastrous is surely “the pursuit of happiness.”  That took me by surprise, but when I think about it, she is right.

  The reason being that our drive for happiness has caused us to do some ugly things. We will do almost anything to get ahead, to achieve wealth, to have fame, to be popular, to win at any cost.  We are willing to sell out our soul for a ‘mess of pottage.’ 

  Joann and I are reading the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament for our daily devotional.  It is the study of Solomon in his search for happiness.  He tries anything and everything; wine, women and song. Yet, none of these bring him happiness.  Listen to this, supposedly the wisest man of his time, in Ecclesiastes 2:10 -11: “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”   He hated life because he knew that he would die and leave all that he possessed to those who would come after him.  Solomon knew that to seek only for happiness in this world ended in “meaningless, emptiness, vanity.”  So, what was the conclusion of the wisdom of Solomon: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13 

  Listen to the wisest of them all, Jesus, who said, “Watch out. Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Luke 12:15   Jesus told the parable, earthly story with a heavenly meaning, of the rich man who had an over abundance of good crop.  What would he do with it?  He would store it up, even if it meant building more buildings in which to house the crop. He thought he had it made and could take life easy; eat, drink and be merry. “But God said to him, ‘You fool.’ This very night your life will be demanded from you.  Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?  This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”   Luke 12: 20-21 

  Jesus calls us to a different kind of pursuit: “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”  Luke 12:31 Again, Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Luke 12:34

  I close the devotional with this thought from Bonnie Gray: “Joy is found not in pampering our soul, but pleasing our Creator.  God isn’t impressed with our money, with our titles, with our fame.  He looks at our heart, at our character, at our souls.  The pursuit of happiness is trumped by the quest for joy.”

  May the motto for our living be: “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” 


  1. Max Each devotional you send out seems to be better than the one before, just what I, and others need to read . I I sure hope you are saving all of these. I am !

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