The world teaches us that happiness is all about getting things for ourselves. It’s all about storing up treasures on earth, acquiring all the goods our eyes desire, all the pleasures our flesh seek and all the position our ego demands.
But on top of all these voices, the Voice of the One who Authored Happiness pronounces that true happiness is the total opposite of the world’s mindset. It’s a paradox. It’s a reciprocal truth. Happiness is not like what the world defines it to be.
Happiness is genuine when it is defined by God Himself- the happiest, the most blessed and the best Person in the whole universe. Here is what God says about happiness. Here is what the Word teaches that hammers a solid punch to the face of the world:
“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” John 13:17
What does Jesus mean when He pointed out to do “these things?” What should we do in order to be happy? In the preceding verses, we can read there the story where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Here are the happiness principles that were unleashed from these Words:
Set aside your reputation- he “laid aside his garments” (John 13:4). People who think highly of themselves are never happy. In short, proud people never have real happiness and joy. That joy is fake. That smile is just a mask. Before Christ washed his disciples’ feet, he set aside his garments. In the ancient times, garments define social status. It defines rank, position and profession. Jesus laid them aside. As a follower of Christ, you count your achievements as “dung.” You count everything as loss for Christ. You don’t glory in them. You don’t cling to your titles and take security in them. There is no other name that is exalted in your life, there is no other source of happiness in your heart than the name of your Savior.
Don’t glory in your medals. Don’t boast of your works. You can’t see anything good in yourself, not any good thing that dwells in you, but your glory is in Christ alone. Like Apostle Paul, you cry out “O wretched man that I am!”
When somebody praises you, your heart does not get puffed up. Your mind counteracts those praises and shields them with faith that it is only God’s mercy that you have accomplished such things. A renewed heart responds in humility before the praises of men and acknowledges that everything is only because of the grace of God alone.
Christ Himself is our great example for this:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” -Philippians 2:5-7
The mind of Christ is a mind characterized by utmost humility. As a God, He humbled himself to a low status. He was humiliated, tortured and killed even though He is God. By doing these, there is no other person in the entire human race so joyful and blessed than Christ Himself.
Lay aside your garments too. Set aside your social status, serve the Lord in humility and fear. Get that towel and do the dirty job. The one with the dirtiest towel will become the happiest. Lay down yourself just like the Savior. Along the way, your heart will be filled with joy. (…to be continued)