We live in a selfie culture. In fact, people have literally died by trying to capture the ultimate selfie. We want to look good and project an image of having it all together. We’re a self-obsessed society.
Interestingly, the Bible says that narcissism will be one of the signs of the last days: “In the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred” (2 Timothy 3:1–2 NLT).
Isn’t that an accurate description of today?
However, selfish people are unhappy people. Studies have confirmed this. We actually get a momentary burst of what we might call temporary happiness when we do something selfish.
One expert pointed out that selfish acts bring us happiness, but only for short-term periods of time. Then our selfish happiness fades quickly and ultimately drives us to more selfish behavior.
On the other hand, selfless acts bring happiness. We know this from experience after we do something for someone else.
In contrast to our narcissistic culture, Jesus said, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it” (Mark 8:35 NLT).
Jesus is effectively saying, “If you get your priorities in order and deny yourself instead of loving yourself and being obsessed with yourself, you will find fulfillment in life.”
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be happy. In fact, Jesus is really telling us how to be happy. But it isn’t by chasing happiness.
So we won’t find happiness by pursuing it. Rather, we’ll find it by putting God first in our lives and following Him.