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There’s a theory out there about three types of happiness, each type more sustainable and enduring than the last. It applies to all areas of life: work, school, church, home. Here they are:

Type One: Pleasure

This is the most fleeting type of happiness. It’s not always sinful, but when it is it’s called “sin for a season”. You follow your heart, chasing the thing you want in the moment. But it only satisfies for a short time.

Hebrews 11:25 [Moses] chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Type Two: Performance

This is when you’re “in the flow” and really loving it. It’s when something moves from your head to your heart, and time flies ’cause you’re having fun. Athletes call it being “in the zone” – when peak engagement meets peak performance.

Colossians 1:10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

Type Three: Purpose

This is the longest lasting source of happiness. When you are finding a sense of meaning in what you’re doing, you can truly enjoy it. It’s the most selfless form of happiness, often requiring great sacrifice. This is the kind of joy that Jesus achieved through the cross.

Hebrews 12:2 Because of the joy awaiting him, [Jesus] endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Give an example of each of the three types of happiness in your own life. How long did each one keep you happy?
  4. Make two lists: pleasures that are healthy and pleasures that are sinful. Which ones are most fleeting, and why?
  5. If you were to die today, what kind of “performance evaluation” would God give you? What is the “good fruit” that should be produced in our lives?
  6. What was Jesus’ purpose on earth? What is your purpose? How well are you accomplishing it, and what can you do to find a greater sense of purpose in this life?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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