Whole Over Happy

A little boy of Asian decent playing catch with a yellow balloon, holding on to a red string to keep it from flying away

The pursuit of happiness is deceiving.

A major lesson that I’ve learned at the feet of Jesus was what I was really looking for wasn’t happiness but to be whole.

When I’m whole, I can better enjoy happiness.

And, I can also be well without it.

Happiness is a high. It’s an event that heightens an experience. Happiness is even more satisfying and long lasting if what I was already experiencing was joy.

We often chase happiness because we had nothing to begin with.

The thing about highs is you can never reproduce the first one.


As a result of having never experienced it, you couldn’t expect it. Serendipity, something pleasant and unexpected, is core to happiness. It hits different –something that affects you pleasantly in an unexpected way.

True happiness, therefore, cannot be sought, or else you would expect it. While you can create conditions that improve the chances of it happening, happiness can only be appreciated when it happens to happen. There’s a reason “happen” is part of the name.

Happiness, when rooted in good (what helps and not harms), is good and should be fully enjoyed but it cannot be grasped. Happiness can only be received.

But, joy is the perpetual, ever-lasting pleasure and satisfaction that comes from knowing something true, good and certain. (e.g. Happiness is a hug from your Mom. Joy is knowing your Mom wants to hug you.)

Jesus makes whole so that you have joy that satisfies and always abides even if you’re low and deepens your happiness when you’re high.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
-John 15:11

What the world has us chasing is totally different than what actually satisfies. Jesus said, “Come to Me and drink.” (John 7:37)

Like the woman at the well, I can testify. While I sometimes find myself going back to the well out of habit, in reality, since coming to Jesus, I’ve never thirsted again.


Originally posted by Paul Luckett to Facebook here.

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