Blaise Pascal wrote this, and I think it’s very insightful:
All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.
In this video and the following transcript, I share some thoughts:
This is a very powerful statement. Pascal is saying, “Look, we all do want to be happy. So let’s get real about it. Everything we do is motivated not by what will make us happy, but by what we believe will make us happy.” If what we believe will make us happy is indeed what will make us happy, then great—we’re starting at the right place.
But why is he saying that even the person who hangs himself seeks happiness? The person who commits suicide is tired of all the unhappiness and wants it to end. They want to be “more happy,” so they even hang themselves to do it.
It’s so descriptive and has a lot of explanatory power to say, “We all seek happiness.” So what we need to do is figure out the best object of our happiness. Where should we seek happiness? Where will we find and experience a real and lasting happiness?
According to the Bible, that is in God. God is the Source and Creator of all happiness. It is only in Him, and in a right relationship with Him, that we’ll be able to experience the lesser happiness in life as flowing out of the great fountain of God’s own happiness.
For more, see Randy's blogs on happiness, as well as his book Happiness.
Learn more about this topic in Randy's book Happiness.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.