Vol.XVI No.IX Pg.2
November 1979

Happiness Is...

Robert F. Turner

Waiting in line at a cafeteria, my attention was captured by a question which a young lady directed to her male escort. "What standard do you have for determining right and wrong?" His answer came quickly and with confidence: "If it makes me happy it is right!" He seemed very pleased with his philosophical insight, and would no doubt have been shocked to know that to me and to several other listeners he had revealed his immaturity. I had mental pictures of a five years old "spoiled brat", who had not yet learned that the world is greater than his own little circle.

What if "it" makes others unhappy? Is my pleasure to come at your expense, or before the well being and happiness of society in general? On such a basis "right" is as cheap as the most selfish man's desires. There would be as many "rights" as there are people, or no standard of right whatsoever. Those whose lives are governed by such a concept are saved from the slavery of complete anarchy by the very ones they prey upon, i.e., by those with more noble ideals.

Sometimes parents, from their superior position of experience and knowledge, must make their children temporarily "unhappy," in order that they might enjoy a greater and more enduring happiness than the child had thought possible. Is it not possible that there is a Superior One, the Heavenly Father, who knows what will produce the greatest happiness for His creatures?

A Christian does not presume to know more about himself, nor his surroundings, than his Creator. Nor does he childishly equate "happiness" with a pleasant physiological sensation. He is not insensitive to beauty and temporal pleasure, but his acceptance of eternal goals enables him to make a more mature evaluation of earthly treasures. A man who deeply loves his wife and family cannot be "happy" in a cheap flirtation he knows will take from him his greater love and joy.

Happiness is not chased and caught. It is developed and nurtured within — a part of us that we allow to mature, thru faith, to hope, to love of God.


In August we ran a note about the financial needs of Ray Parmenter, who faced open-heart surgery. The surgery was apparently successful and Ray is slowly regaining strength. He writes he has baptized one since resuming his preaching work in Cottonwood, AZ. Plain Talk readers responded generously to Ray's needs, and Dan and I rejoice with Ray for you all.