Friday, Jan 4, 2019. What is the idea of the New Testament about human life? How to live? What to do? Think of a Christian man or woman in the middle of our society. Does the bible say something about how to relate to others around? How to live? What to pursue? Today in western societies we consider the pursuit of happiness as a human right - everyone should do it as he wants, as long as he does not hurt or violate the rights of others. But how does the bible relate to this?
Christian Pursuit of Happiness …
First, we can say that indeed the bible wants us to pursue happiness! It just has some remarks what kind of happiness is healthy and sustainable. It clearly points out that only in and through Jesus Christ, full happiness can be achieved for a human. Only through him, we receive forgiveness and eternal life. Only through him the holy spirit is accessible.
Let us look into the second chapter of the letter 1 Timothy, where the apostle Paul writes to his mentee Timothy:
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Tim 2)
It is remarkable that Paul urges the church (through Timothy) to pray and to thank God for all the others. Here, he talks in particular about kings and those in high positions. It is about each and everyone who has responsibility for other people. As Christians, we should keep praying for them, from pure hearts! We should pursue their happiness as well, and their truthfulness and blessing - through prayer!
Still life full of happiness and truth …
The goal which Paul describes is a “peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way”. Let us relate this to the pursuit of happiness. How can you be happy if you do not have peace in your heart? In this sense peace is a core part of any happiness. Without peace, happiness is close to self-deception.
Paul also describes the goal as “quite life”. If you are truly happy, you do not need to be loud. You do not need to be clamant. True happiness has some element of being self contained, being in peace, being at rest.
But Paul also clarifies that life should be godly. For those who have discovered that God is the fantastic creator, source and friend, the saviour, love itself, full of truth, creativity, majesty and freedom - how in the world should you not be godly, not orient your life and emotions and thoughts and actions towards him? How can you find full and deep happiness without the connection to him, without having him in your life day by day?
In God, there is tremendous dignity for each and everyone of us. He dignifies our life even just by looking at it. His appreciation of life is breathtaking. He gives full value to every single life form through his deep love. When we react to this, when we are touched by it, and changed by it. When we are in his presence, our pursuit of happiness has reached its ultimate goal! All is good. (Roland Potthast) ... further texts