"Do What Makes You Happy"

“Do what makes you happy.” 

This is one of my least favourite quotes. I’ve seen it stuck onto a wallpaper designs, carved into wood for decoration, and set as friends’ screen savers. Hear me out, I have nothing against positive quotes and I’m not ‘anti-happy’, but I do think that particular phrase holds little substance. Yet, it’s something I think our generation holds onto too tightly. 

"An obedient response doesn’t rely on happiness. 

Calling doesn't rely on a feeling. 

If it did, we’d be in trouble."

I’m not pointing fingers. I often fall victim to the mentality of only doing what makes me happy. After graduating from university, I was surprised by how quickly I got tired and demotivated during the working day, how sometimes I did have to ‘put a shift in’ even if I didn’t feel like it and how my feelings may not necessarily always be the truth. 

At university, if a nap made me happy, I’d nap.

If staying in the comfort zone made me happy, I’d stay there.

If saying no was the easier option, I’d say it. 

But every time I chose to prioritise my own happiness over my calling, I fell short of the purpose God had for me and the people around me. 

Don’t get me wrong, choosing my calling over my happiness is still enjoyable. The joy in committing to something, even when it’s more difficult, uncomfortable, or not what makes you happy in the moment, surpasses any kind of happiness found on a wallpaper quote.

But it requires hard graft. Following calling requires giving Jesus your plans and trusting that He’s got your back. 

In Matthew 4, Jesus told Peter and Andrew to follow Him. Their response was to lay down their livelihoods, draw in their nets and become fishers of men. I imagine they felt a whole range of emotions in this moment? Calling? Yes. Fear? Probably. Trust? Hopefully. But happiness? 

An obedient response doesn’t rely on happiness. 

Calling doesn't rely on a feeling. 

If it did, we’d be in trouble. 

I don’t know about you, but my feelings fluctuate. One day I feel motivated, ready to change the world. Another day, I feel more like staying in bed and choosing the comfortable option. But on both days, I am called. I have a purpose. Even if I don’t feel like it. And so do you. 

Following feeling over calling. We’ve all been there. But there is far more fruit when you get past the feeling. 

Where are you following feelings rather than calling? 

What is God calling you into? 

Even if it’s uncomfortable, are you up for the adventure?

Victoria Seithel

Communications Developer

Viki loves raising up new leaders and is committed to sharing the hope-filled story of student mission with the churches she serves.

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