By Oyisa George

Both happiness and joy are positive emotions that contribute to a fulfilling and meaningful life. However, the two concepts have distinct differences.

Happiness is often associated with a long-term state of contentment and overall well-being. It can be influenced by various factors, such as relationships, career, health, and personal accomplishments. Pursuing happiness involves finding ways to improve one’s overall quality of life and seeking long-lasting satisfaction.

On the other hand, joy is a more intense and transient emotion that arises from experiencing something delightful or bringing profound pleasure. Joy can be the result of small moments of happiness, such as spending time with loved ones, achieving a personal milestone, or engaging in activities that bring fulfillment and satisfaction.

Ultimately, the pursuit of happiness and joy are not mutually exclusive. A balanced approach to life could involve seeking overall happiness by making choices that align with personal values and goals, while also embracing experiences that bring moments of joy and delight.

However, it’s important to remember that what brings happiness and joy can differ from person to person. Understanding one’s own values, needs, and desires can help shape the path towards a fulfilling life. It may be helpful to reflect on what brings you long-term contentment and how to incorporate moments of joy into your daily experiences.

While happiness provides a sustained sense of well-being and contentment, joy adds moments of delight and intense pleasure to our experiences.

According to what the bible says about happiness is seeking happiness DOES NOT include giving in to your wants at the expense of others or going against God’s will.  “The pursuit of pleasure” is not mentioned.   Furthermore, it is NOT the pursuit of materialism, hedonism, or humanism (II Timothy 3:1–4).  The scriptures repeatedly emphasizes that seeking these things is futile folly, as was made very plain by Solomon (Ecclesiastes 12).

The bible does refer to one facet of happiness, which is equated with God’s blessing. The term “happy” and “blessed” are roughly equivalent translations of the root word “esher,” which in the Old Testament refers to happiness or blessing (H835). This is frequently used, especially in Psalms and Proverbs.

The bible emphasizes joy. Joy, rejoice, and similar words are used literally hundreds of times in the bible. The Psalms and Proverbs are full of direction on joy. Music is often spoken of as an expression of joy in the bible (I Sam. 18:6, I Kings 1:40, I Chron. 15:16). It’s used as a verb throughout the minor prophets, and Jesus spends a significant chunk of time during His final Passover night talking about it (John 15). It’s kind of a big deal. Joy is the ability to be content even when circumstances don’t live up to your expectations. It’s great and something we all need, but it is not a substitute for joy, and true joy is not the end result of having fun.

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