Sunday I shared the wise words of a quote that challenged me all week: “don’t pursue what makes you feel good. Purse was makes you feel good about yourself”. At the heart of the quote is the truth that sometimes pursuing that which makes us feel good in the moment often doesn’t lead to lasting joy. How many times have you wasted an hour on your phone, thinking it would make you feel good, only to find that it made you feel worse? The examples of impulsive decisions not bringing lasting joy are many. So lately, I’ve been thinking more about pursuing what makes me feel good about myself, and not just the temporary, in the moment, feel-good-for-a-moment stuff.
A friend shared a Matthew McConaughey quote with me that echoes this truth. Read it quick, it’s worth it:
“If happiness is what you’re after, then you are going to be let down frequently and be unhappy much of your time. Joy, though, is something else. It’s not a choice, not a response to some result, it is a constant. Joy is ‘the feeling we have from doing what we are fashioned to do,’ no matter the outcome.”
Good start, and I’d take it even one step further- joy is the feeling we have when we are aligned with God, at peace with Him, and doing what we were fashioned by Him to do.
Jesus has His own take on this joy vs. happiness distinction. Take a look:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20). See the connection?
What does pursuing joy, lasting joy, and not happiness, look like for you?