Prays Together: Your Life’s Guide

By Brandon Zoll

In today’s modern culture there is a common thread of teaching being taught as the magical key to happiness, and I believe it to be the cause of the steady moral decline in the world today. I believe that instead of providing happiness it does the opposite.

This common teaching is found in simple phrases and idioms like: “just follow your heart,” “do what makes you happy,” or, my personal favorite, “you do you.” 

All of these phrases are leading us to do the same thing, to look to ourselves internally to determine how we will live. Now, inherently we can argue there is nothing wrong with this. For example, if I had the choice to eat tacos or haggis, I would choose what would make me happy. I know I like tacos and tacos make me happy. While the idea of haggis makes me want to vomit, the choice for me is obvious.

This principle of looking to ourselves internally to determine how we live can be useful for the amoral aspects of life, meaning the non-moral aspects of life. Like whether to eat tacos or haggis.

However, when applied to the moral realm it is extremely dangerous. In fact, history has proven to us, time and time again, that mankind is a terrible moral agent within itself. Think of Nazi Germany or other similar moral tragedies in our own recent history. 

Without any moral direction outside ourselves we are bound and destined to do some of the most immoral things. The Bible actually teaches us this. The very fall of man in Genesis chapter three is all about our attempt in claiming moral autonomy from God. The desire to do what makes us happy, to do what our hearts feel is right, to do you, with no regard for God or others, only ourselves. 

The tragedy in this is what may make you happy may also cause others pain. In most cases, when we live our life with this “you do you” mentality others are bound to be hurt by it because this lifestyle is perpetuated with the idea that we individually are the only one that matter in our lives, and others do not matter in an individuals’ pursuit of happiness. The individual should do whatever makes him/her happy. 

The tragedy in this is we are terrible moral agents on our own. The Bible once again teaches us this. In Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (ESV).”

I hope we as a society can recognize this, and understand the only solution to our depravity and immorality is to look externally for our morality. To look outside of our hearts, and our heart’s desire, which is desperately sick, and to look to another. As a Christian, I look to Christ. He and only He provides me a moral guide to this life. I find His moral principle to love God and love others to take care of all day-to-day moral concerns. 

However, when it comes to the amoral things of this life, like tacos or haggis, you better believe I will always do and encourage others to do what makes them happy.

Brandon Zoll is pastor of the Church of God of Exeter. He may be reached by calling 559-592-2631.

Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church. 

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.

Start typing and press Enter to search