I just started reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to read it. I mean, the idea of spending a year trying to be more happy sounds a little self-centered to me. I was pleasantly surprised with how the author handled that criticism in the very first chapter. I won’t tell you here, though – you have to read the book!
What got me thinking, though, was a quote from Aristotle that she includes: “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Really? The first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism is “What Is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” (Here are the scripture references to support this.) These seem like contradictory statements.
One of John Piper’s well-known books is Desiring God. In it, he argues for a theory he calls “Christian hedonism”, stating that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him”. If we really love and treasure God, then we will give Him all the glory and honor.
In a way, then, Aristotle is correct. The meaning and purpose of my life is to love and follow Jesus which is the thing that gives me the most happiness in life.
Thoughts? Did I make sense?