“You may be good, but are you happy?”

This in a post from Richard Beck caught my attention last week:

There are so many ways we’re suffering due to disenchantment. We’re all feeling a bit lost and unwell in this post-Christian world. We might be good people, but we aren’t very happy. 

This is America in a nutshell, really. We may believe we are good people, but none of us are very happy. Oh, we try to convince ourselves and those around us otherwise. That’s the power of indulgence and consumption; these things serve as powerful veils to cover our emptiness. But, nevertheless, we can justify our emptiness as long as we can feel like we are morally superior to Them. Hence, the onset of over-politicization and Twitter mobs and cancelling and rampant self-righteousness and certainty.

Christianity is supposed to be an answer to this. Being Christians should be a joyous experience, full of grace and compassion and hope. It should not be as stultifying and rigid and mean as our politics have become. Cancellation and grievance has no place among disciples. Christianity is not a means to an end. It does not exist to help us achieve whatever political or social goal we have. Our faith is not a utilitarian faith. It’s not about the end point, but the journey. But for too many Christians today, that no longer is true. Christianity becomes important only to the extent that it can serve as a vehicle for social justice, or pro-life advocacy, or any other political ideology. That’s why Beck’s question is so important for Christians to ask themselves:

“You may be good, but are you happy?”

A little more happiness, and a little less stridency, would go a long ways towards healing our world.

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