Americans love America.  We love freedom.  We love life.  We love liberty.  We love the pursuit of happiness.  We love our picket fences, our 3 bedrooms, our 2.5 bathrooms, 2 cars and 2.5 kids.  We love our subdivisions and are comfortable churches.

But what if I told you that God doesn’t give a damn about your picket fence?  What if I told you that God doesn’t even care about that American flag you have hanging off the eave of your house?  What if I told you that God isn’t concerned with your pursuit of happiness?

What if I told you that God didn’t call you to happiness?

Happy folks don’t change the world.  Whole folks change the world.

“What in the world do you mean by “whole folks”, Terry?”

I’m very glad you asked.  What do I mean by “whole folks”?  I mean, folks who have been through rough times and came out on the other side and are better for it.  I mean folks who are through with the pursuit of happiness and are ready for the pursuit of joy.

I mean folks who have realized that this whole Jesus thing means sometimes things are shitty.  Sometimes, even when I’m following Jesus, there’s too much month at the end of the money.  Sometimes when I’m following Jesus, my wife and I still get into arguments (and I sleep on the couch).  Sometimes when I’m following Jesus, I get depressed and I’m the furthest thing from happy.

But when I’m following Jesus and I’m on the pursuit of wholeness and joy, money isn’t my biggest worry.  When we’re both on the pursuit of wholeness, my wife and i reconcile quickly.  When I’m on the pursuit of wholeness, depression doesn’t have its hold on me.

When I’m on the path to wholeness, I’m a better pastor.

WHen I’m on the path to wholeness, I’m a better husband.

When I’m on the path to wholeness, I’m a better Christ-follower.

When I hold onto the pursuit of happiness and 2.5 kids and a mortgage becoem my god, I fail as a pastor, husband and Christ-follower.

God loves me but God doesn’t give a damn about my happiness, becauseh e is much m ore concerned with the bigger picture.  He doesn’t want me happy.  He wants me whole.  And “whole folks” know that the world is too real to be happy all the time.

I have no interest in happiness.  I have interest in joy.  I have interest in wholeness.  I’m tired of the Kingdom of America and the Kingdom of Terry.

The only place we can find wholeness is within the Kingdom of God.  The only time we can find wholeness is when God is on the throne of our lives.  Stop worshipping our American ideals.  Stop worshipping Obama and Romney.  2000 years ago, folks were looking for a political leader to usher in the Kingdom of God.  Don’t make that same mistake in 2012.

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