Editorial - HEDONISM

When I decided to get married many years ago, the only answer to the question: ‘Why was I getting married?’ was because ‘I wanted to be happy.’ Having been a bachelor for quite a long time - spending my life in loneliness and solitude, I said to myself, “I need someone to be by my side, and maybe, if I got married, I would be happy.” It was so true; there was no more loneliness and emptiness right after the wedding. I had a happy life. So, my worldview on happiness was so simple: getting married brings happiness. However, others’ worldview is different, they have a different perspective on this particular issue. A friend of mine, a middle-age gentleman who never got married told me that being single brings happiness. He said, “Getting married could ruin my happy life, no more freedom.”What a contradictive worldview!

A question was raised, “What makes people really happy? The New York Times magazine posted an article called “Happiness 101” that gave several answers in response to the question. A group of researchers conducted studies to find out what really makes people happy. They wanted to get to the very root of the question and get first-hand answers. The result was alarming. In general, the way in which people went about their quest was totally incorrect. They assumed that the ultimate sense of happiness could be reached through the pleasurable experience of having an accumulation of things. The researchers concluded that this was not the way to go about it. Anyone who believes that ‘having more and more’ is the way to happiness is on the HEDONIC treadmill. The researchers found that ultimate happiness in life is when you give your life away. If you want to be happy and find fulfillment in life, you should pour out your life through acts of service and give more and more. — https://www.preachingtoday.com/sermons/sermons/2015

Wikipedia describes that HEDONISM is a school of thought that argues that the pursuit of pleasure and intrinsic goods are the primary goals of human life. A HEDONIST strives to maximize pleasure but when the pleasure is gained, happiness remains stagnant. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonism. The world’s view of pleasure is totally different from the Christian’s view of pleasure. For us, God is the Supreme Source of pleasure and satisfaction, therefore, our lives should be the pursuit of maximum joy in God. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”PSALM 16:11.

Putting GOD FIRST is the way to find joy, happiness and pleasure. This should be the Christian’s HEDONISM.Ellen White wrote, “. . . God has given directions as to how they are to appropriate His goods in relieving the wants of suffering humanity, in advancing His cause, in building up His kingdom in the world, in sending missionaries into regions beyond, in disseminating the knowledge of Christ in all parts of the world.” – Counsels on Stewardship, p. 133, 134

Putting GOD FIRST, over and over again, is true HEDONISM because pleasure and happiness are found only in Jesus.

Hiskia Missah
Editor