Opening Scripture

Happiness Vs. Evil

The first Psalm tells us about the happy man, and thus about the nature of happiness, through a series of five constrasts. The first contrast is very simple: happiness and evil are opposed. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. The ungodly have a counsel concerning happiness; but according to this Psalm such counsel is utterly false. Sinners are often found in hot pursuit of fun; but happiness does not come to those who stand in that way. The scornful are mockers; but happiness is not there either. No, the happy man is the man who avoids all of that. To state it more simply still: without holiness there is no happiness. This of course, contradicts the quotidian notion derived from the counsel of the ungodly that true religion is misery; that God is a killjoy; that Puritanism is the fear that somewhere, somehow, someone might be having fun. It is perfectly clear that there is an absolute opposition between Biblical counsel and worldly counsel on this point. Each tells us of happiness; but as they are diametrically opposed only one can be correct. Happiness is inseparable from holiness; I think Charles Williams would be pleased if I stated as well that holiness is inseparable from happiness.