Word Magazine September 1967 Page 21
HOW CAN I ENJOY LIFE AND
STILL BE A CHRISTIAN
By George Malouf, Jr.
St. George Church, Washington, D.C.
Ever since man was created on earth, he has searched for a betterment of his life and his lot. His saga has been that of great achievement through the ages in his quest for happiness, which is after all a great objective of us all.
It is very important to understand what is happiness. Eating for the glutton, drinking for the alcoholic, and excesses of all kind for those who like excesses may appear, at first glance, as means of happiness. However, deeper analysis show that these excesses, be it of physical or
Emotional nature, lead to very unhappy later states; and, as such, they carry a later unhappiness. We should reserve, therefore, the definition of happiness to any type of behavior that keeps on giving pleasure forever without later recourse.
We claim, as Christians, that we are happy people. We believe that living the life of a Christian is neither dull nor irrational. Our life is full of joy and fun.
Some sects and religions are dull. They necessitate extreme mystic practices in order to achieve perfection. The Christian religion is tailored to the nature of man with full understanding of his behavior as an individual. Admittedly mysticism has been practiced by hermits and Saints, and still is being practiced by monks; however, this was and is done by choice. The great majority of Christians do not sever their relations from society; on the contrary, they remain as very active and happy members of the community.
Other sects and religions are irrational; their practice challenges the common sense of the inquisitive mind, and as such they are boring to the man of intelligence. Christianity is rational and needs no apology.
The teaching of Christ stood the test of time, not only because of the religious aspect, but because it has made our society a better and happier place to live in.
It may be argued that the restrictions of the Christian religion are to demanding. However, we all know that happiness is not in being free of all responsibilities. Being able to obey good rules and to live by them gives a man a feeling of achievement and self discipline. This is real happiness.
Being a member of the Christian faith makes you a part of a family that has the same goals and objectives. Hence, a feeling of belonging, of being a part of the community that shares your love and affection.
A Christian is a happy person. His happiness comes from an inner satisfaction. The tragedies of life and even death are faced with understanding and inner self reliance on God’s will.
One of the major characteristics of Christianity is the place it has for love. We are asked to love our neighbor and even our enemies. With this love we eliminate fighting and hatred and all the unhappiness that may result. Love is happiness.
We are also told by Christ to be merciful. We are even asked to turn the other cheek. Have you ever thought what this world would be like if everyone on this Earth turned the other cheek? This will eliminate wars from and bring peace to this globe so, that happiness would dwell in every home.
In closing I would like to quote from Dr. Billy Graham: “I had sought thrills. I found them in Christ. I had looked something that would bring perfect job and happiness! I found it in Christ. I had looked for something that would bring pleasure and that would satisfy the deepest longing of my heart! I found it in Christ! In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.