The Root of All Our Unhappiness

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (HarperOne; 2001), page 46:

When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy. Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot and least like those of a lover, in fact marshal us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted.

Ed Shaw, The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction (IVP UK only; 2015), page 69:

When I want to live life as a gay man, to embrace the whole modern identity and lifestyle, God’s Word assures me that it will not make me happy: even though denying my sexual feelings the affirmation and expression I so want sounds cruel and unloving, it is actually what I would choose myself if I knew what was best for me. Psalm 19 guarantees me what I most want, even as it stops me getting that in the way I often want it.

That’s why I’m seeking to make God’s Word the authority in my life rather that what I (or any other human being) might think will bring me happiness. Which, of course, is what being a Christian is really all about: taking God at his Word, and so trusting him. Doing the very opposite: not taking God at his Word, and so disobeying him, is what humanity has done instinctively ever since Adam and Eve led the way.

At the heart of being a Christian is a recognition that we have been submitting to the wrong authority – our own happiness. And that we need to submit to a new authority – God’s way to be happy as set out in his Word. That is why there is something deeply wrong when Christians start editing out those bits of the Bible they aren’t happy with – it shows that they are not really submitting to God after all, but want to continue to define what is right and wrong for themselves. This has always been a mistake and has caused all the unhappiness in our world.

Here’s a brief introduction to the author, Ed Shaw: