I recently had a few hard days that turned into a few hard weeks. No monumental tragedy or hardship occurred. I just felt discouraged and restless and dissatisfied. As I looked inward to evaluate what I was feeling, this thought broke through: I’m just not happy.
I immediately felt a check in my spirit. We live in a world where individual happiness is touted to be of utmost importance. Even the U.S. Declaration of Independence assures us: “[All men] are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Media and entertainment normalize making decisions based solely on personal happiness. When we’re unhappy — the world tells us — it’s a signal that something’s gone wrong and we need to change direction. We break up relationships, change careers, change churches, and go into debt buying things we think will make us happy. In short, we run from unhappiness instead of facing it.