The 90's saw its fair share of hits that a brief decade later remind me that pop singers make very poor philosophers." The 1996 melody belted out by countless driving divas, "If it Makes You Happy," is one of those songs.
The whole premise of Sheryl Crow's Billboard Top 100 single is completely off base. "If it makes you happy it can't be that bad," is a terrible philosophy. Just because something makes us happy does not make it good. Things that make people happy can actually be downright harmful, sinful, corrupt, detrimental...pick your troubled adjective of choice. What produces happiness does not necessarily equate with goodness. The two are entirely separate entities and they don't always coexist in blissful harmony.
This morning as I struggled with another flareup, this time producing vertigo (aka a constantly spinning room), this song and its flawed message popped in my mind as clear as a bell. There I was lying on my bedroom floor in front of my electric fireplace begging my internal thermometer to rise even if only a degree when all of the sudden Sheryl Crow began to sing in my head, "if it makes you happy it can't be that bad."
The word, "huh?" might have audibly been spoken in that strange moment. Why would that song come to mind? MS flareups and vertigo were not making me happy. What the symptoms of this latest exacerbation have been doing to my physical body and energy level are certainly not making me happy. And MS in that moment didn't look at all good. So where on earth was Sheryl Crow coming from? Not from my stereo I can tell you that much and certainly not from the experiences of my day thus far.
And then it hit me....
As I lay there on the floor feeling exhausted, beaten, defeated and utterly useless satan was having a field day. My condition and what it was doing to my spirit was making him ridiculously happy. If being defeated was making satan happy then being defeated was indeed very bad, not very good.
In that moment of revelation a new thought dawned on me, "get up." As tired as I felt I knew that to trample the happiness of the devil I had to pick myself up off of the floor and make myself useful. Satan wanted to keep me down. My defeat was his pleasure and his happiness. But his happiness is always bad news for me. If the devil is happy than there is something seriously wrong with my attitude and spirit. No matter what my physical condition may be or how beat I feel I never want to let that be an excuse to be spiritually deflated. That only brings a smile to the face of my enemy. Instead I want to rise above my struggle and crush the devil underfoot.
I don't think I will ever be able to hear Sheryl Crow's 1996 hit without reliving that decisive moment that occurred this morning on my bedroom floor. God brought me to a decision point in my spiritual life and taught me a lesson I don't want to forget and it is this: If my circumstances, attitude and feelings are making the devil happy than they are bad, very bad and in no way good. The only good is the good that pleases God and makes Him happy. The Lord doesn't smile upon the same things as the devil, they are in direct opposition to each other. If I want to make the Lord happy I must stomp on the happiness of the devil by choosing to be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. His is the true good and it will fill me with something better than human happiness. When I am living to please the Lord I will be filled with abundant joy, peace and love. Now that is what make God happy.