In the News...Three Paths Found to Happiness

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In the News...Three Paths Found to Happiness

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Pleasure ("the smiley-face piece"), engagement (the depth of involvement with one's family, work, romance and hobbies) and meaning (using personal strengths to serve some larger end).

Of the three roads to a happy, satisfied life, which is most significant? Pleasure is the least consequential, he insists. "This is newsworthy, because so many Americans build their lives around pursuing pleasure. It turns out that engagement and meaning are much more important," he said.

This is the same conclusion King Solomon came to thousands of years ago. After spending a lifetime pursuing pleasure of every sort, he concluded: "Vanity of vanities... all is vanity!" (Ecclesiastes 12:8).

Nothing is wrong with pleasure enjoyed within God's law, of course. It makes life full and stimulating. But if that's our primary source of happiness, its temporary nature fades and leaves us feeling empty and craving more. "Our eyes can never see enough to be satisfied," Solomon said, "Our ears can never hear enough" (Ecclesiastes 1:8, Good News Bible).

But he does identify the one thing that genuinely brings us lasting meaning and joy—knowing and being fully engaged in God's purpose for our lives. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

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