Larry and Bob haven't seen each other for a while. Larry lives out of town but came to visit. They sat over coffee, catching up.
Larry asks Bob about a mutual friend Zack and how things are going with Zack's new wife Mirna.
Bob smirks a little . . . looks up . . . "uhh . . . well . . . " he responds with an unsure, slight grimace.
Larry presses and says, "I mean, is she good for him? Do you like her?"
Bob purses his lips, obviously thinking how to answer. It's clear he thinks there are some issues but doesn't want to speak bad of Zack and the new wife or gossip.
Larry, not really himself interested in hearing the details and just wanting to put the matter to rest and move on to other topics, ie., sports, work, vacations, cars, says, "Well, is he happy though? Is ZACK happy? 'Cuz that's all the matters. . . ."
[Note, Bob has become a passionate, born again Christian since they last met. Bob's worldview is typically post-modern, "everybody has their own path . . . whatever makes you happy . . . do your best" etc., and it will be alright. . . .]
But Bob is thinking, "hmm . . . oh dear, what a stupid thing to say, 'is he happy? That's all that matters.'" Bob is also thinking . . . Zack was a passionate Christian but his new wife is very worldly and has taken Zack of course. Oh, they are "doing well" . . . in the world's eyes--just got a new boat and are remodeling their kitchen. But Bob doesn't consider this "doing well". In fact he's worried about Zack, about his soul.
Is it true that "if he's happy, that's all that matters?" Perhaps Hitler was happy killing Jews and Christians. Hey, that's what made him "happy" so. . . . Radical Jihadists are happy beheading and crucifying Christians and raping little girls. Is that all that matters?
But then also, is he really "happy"? Is Zack "happy"? Really, what he is . . . is energetically prideful, able to boast, confident that he is doing "better" than others. This can look like "happy" . . . and maybe it even is. But is that what this life is for? Or is it to be HOLY? "But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy." (1 Peter 1:15)
It is said, you can have your "heaven" now . . . and your Hell later, or vice versa. God will often let those who hate Him and have no desire to serve and submit to Him--He will let them have a bit of the "good life" while on earth . . . because that's as good as it's going to get. He turns them over to their master, the devil, who may reward them for a time with earthly gifts. But to the one with the eyes to see . . . this is a terror. This is a slow moving nightmare which ends badly, despite the temporary boons and treasures. . . .
No, Bob thinks, the point of this life is not whether Zack is pleased with himself and his new wife. It is whether GOD is pleased. What makes God "happy" so-to-speak . . . is "all that matters." And Bob can see that Zack has stopped thinking of and thanking God day-to-day and is only focused now on social standing, the material assets he's acquiring, the satisfaction of his new wife, etc.
But Larry doesn't want to hear about that. That just sounds "judgmental" and "negative." Besides, Larry is also just doing what makes himself happy, which includes having an affair, and he doesn't want to get into any type of discussion about absolute right and wrongs. No way. . . . He just wants a quick answer so that he can keep the conversation light, inconsequential--nothing that might prick the conscience and give him pause in his own case. . . .
It's the same world that Larry and Bob are looking at, but the point-of-view is altogether different and shades each one's perception to completely opposite ends. To please God . . . or to please man . . . that is the distinction. They do not both lead to the same place. And being "happy" has nothing to do with it. It is all about being holy.
Serving oneself ("man") can never lead to holiness. Only by submission to the one, true, holy, living God--Who holds ALL the cards; Who CREATED all the cards--is it possible to truly be happy, content, right with God and at peace . . . for the rest of eternity.