Our local church began doing Community Groups at the beginning of this year. Community Groups is our version of getting together in small groups for a mid-week bible study and fellowship. Through the summer we are using the John Piper book “Don’t Waste Your Life” as a guide to lead us into a study of what the bible says a fulfilling life should look like. The first couple of chapters have been a little difficult because the content is based on Piper’s own journey of discovery into what a fulfilled life should be and what a wasted life might look like. But this week the spiritual afterburners seemed to have been kicked with chapter 3. The following is an abbreviated version of our past study.
Chapter 3 is titled “Breakthrough – the Beauty of Christ, My Joy.” The accompanying study guide begins with an examination of what people perceive as happiness or the pursuit of it. To that end Piper introduces a quote out of a section of work called “Pensées” written by the French philosopher, mathematician, and Christian apologist, Blaise Pascal. The quote is about happiness:
All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.
The study guide then follows with the thought provoking question: Is it true that all men seek happiness (even those who commit suicide)? Is the pursuit of happiness inevitable? How do you think the Bible regards the pursuit of happiness?