Christopher is a friend to and encourager of SoMuchGoodNews. He resides in the UK, is husband to Helen, and dad to Michael and Daniel. A vet by profession, Chris enjoys the outdoors and revels in the Gospel.
He recently shared these thoughts. Enjoy!
What is true happiness? When are you truly happy? And when are you least happy? I believe happiness is freedom from guilt and shame.
Young children are happier than adults, because they are carefree and have no sense of shame and little sense of regret. Have you seen the little kid playing and running stark naked, laughing all the way. I think that deep down we all want to be like that kid.
To do so would mean getting rid of guilt and shame. I see only two conclusions that a logical mind can reach when considering the solution to guilt and shame. One is to remove the source of it by abolishing rules, laws and God; thereby freeing ourselves from ever contravening anything. Everything becomes relative. No right or wrong. No good or bad. Just innumerable shades of grey. No one to answer to. No responsibility. Become a free agent. Encourage free thought. Don’t allow anyone to judge you. A very popular course taken by many.
However, even in a secular world, it’s clear that there are some rules. And the most secular will often be the most vocal when seeking justice or reparations for wrongs done to them. We all want the rules to apply to everyone else! And then there’s the nagging thought, deep down that even the staunchest atheist has. That twinkling doubt: “What if there really is a God?” So some will turn to religion, to try and answer that doubt. However, religion makes a very poor substitute for the true Good News. Religion is not Good News at all. And, instead of relieving it, it adds to our sense of guilt and shame. Thus many reject religion, having found that rather than solve the problem, it is compounded and they become even more unhappy.
Some might believe that those are the only choices before us. A choice between Atheism and Religion. If those were the only options then I too would choose Atheism to live free from guilt and shame. But, I have some really Good News. A path to true and lasting happiness. This is the only other logical conclusion. To receive God’s perfect sacrifice (the ultimate punishment suffered by Jesus on the cross – the death penalty) as full payment for all of our transgressions in perpetuity. Past, present and future. An incredible exchange that’s almost too good to be true. All our sin for all His Righteousness. Not by our own efforts, but by His. When received, the result is freedom from condemnation, guilt and shame. Freedom to live within the rules, and not fear the consequences when we don’t. Ultimate security and hope. True happiness.