The pursuit of happpiness, the wrong pursuit

Today, while I was jogging, I listened to one of John MacArthur’s sermons on the Beatitudes.  The sermon, which I received through the Grace To You Podcast, covered Matthew 5:6:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

MacArthur made a simple point in his sermon that I want to elaborate on briefly.  His point was that in order to be satisfied in this life we need to pursue righteousness (through Jesus) not happiness.  This seems like such a “duh” point.  However, it is quite profound.  Our culture screams at us that we need to be pursuing our own happiness in order to find satisfaction.  The only problem is that this doesn’t work!  Even the Rolling Stones figured that out!  And yet we just keep pursuing our own happiness.  In fact, happiness has become the “Holy Grail” of self-fulfillment (If you don’t believe me watch about 15 mins. of the T.V. show “The Biggest Loser.”  According to “Trainer Jillian” you cannot even loose weight without pursuing your own happiness.).

Matthew 5:6 teaches us that we can never be satisfied by pursuing happiness.  This is because happiness is a byproduct of righteousness.  If we are pursuing righteousness, literally hungering for it like a starving man, then we will be “blessed” (or happy).  This is the key to satisfaction.  The other option is to “try, and to try, and to try, and to try.”  But you “can’t get no, [you] can’t get no” satisfaction.

Think of the practical implications this has for lives.  All those times that we sought satisfaction by pursuing happiness. when the real answer was to pursue a righteousness relationship with God…

Praise be to God that He provided us with righteousness through the work of Christ so that we could be happy and satisfied!



  1. pursuit of righteousness v. pursuit of happiness

    sounds like a false dichotomy to me….

Comments are closed.