Can You Be Happy If You’re Not A Christian?

This was a question I was asked recently. It completely caught me off guard, and the person asking, knew that I was already a Christian. What she was really trying to find out was if I was happy before I  became a Christian. I’m sure that the answer is different for everyone but Brenda had  been wanting to ask me for a really long time. She finally had her chance and my answers really surprised her. Maybe they will surprise you too.

My husband, Nicholas Gonzalez, overheard my conversation with Brenda and was inspired to interview me for his radio show, Faith Matters. You can listen to my response online here in the segment called “Come As You Are.”

I would love to hear your thoughts on this question. Are you Christian? Do you consider yourself happy? If you are Christian, how does your life compare to your previous life before you knew Christ? So many questions but also so many opportunities to have a conversation about faith and religion. Share your story below!

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20 thoughts on “Can You Be Happy If You’re Not A Christian?

  1. It wont let me view the page properly, but for me.. To be honest, in reality at least… I wasn’t truly happy, I think people who don’t know the Lord and are in a “comfortable” place, having many material things, etc, can say they are very happy people. But there is something that goes past happiness.. and that is the Joy that only the Lord can fulfill.. and that is why I can say for me personally, that I am “happier” now then I was before I knew the Lord, because even through the rough days now, I can look to the One that ultimately brings me the greatest happiness.

    1. Very well stated Hannah. I’ve had the same kind of experience since becoming a Christian. Before, I relied on only myself for fulfillment because I knew I couldn’t rely on others. Now, I know that I don’t have to take on everything, that God can carry the burdens for me.

  2. Hi Kristeen! This post really caught my eye because up until recently I realised that, yes people who are not Christians can be happy. This happiness is not true happiness and is a mask. It is something we often confuse for joy which is completely different and, from what I and most Christians believe, can only be found in Christ. Joy is the inner hope we have despite our circumstances. It’s talked about in the beginning of James as having joy while we are going through hardships, but it mentions nothing about being happy. I believe the happiness we often feel is false security given to us by the enemy so we don’t have a reason to turn to God. It puts us in a jail cell that looks nothing like a jail cell at all so there is no desire for us to leave. I recently became uncomfortable with the thought of being comfortable in my walk with Christ and that’s how I knew that sometimes being “happy” and comfortable can be dangerous things. It’s a trick used by the king of lies in order to keep us from the prince of peace. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying as Christians we shouldn’t be happy, but we should be aware of the extreme emphasis we put on being happy and comfortable instead of living for Christ even if it means sacrificing our happiness sometimes. I’ve been a Christian since I was a little girl. I ran from God, ran back to him, made a lot of mistakes, but I can now joyfully say that I learned to stop searching for happiness and search God with all my heart. That’s where my true sense of happiness comes from, but moe importantly that’s where my joy comes from as well.

    God Bless,
    Darlene

    1. Darlene, like Carly you brought up joy and I think it’s important to make that distinction. I don’t think I could really put it into words like that when I was asked but is definitely what it is. Regarding comfortability – absolute truth! My pastor did a sermon on the narrow path last year and it inspired me to write a song called “Don’t Let Me Get Comfortable.” It may or may not be on my EP but the key thought in the chorus is this… “Don’t let my Jesus die in vain. Don’t let me walk away in shame. He didn’t have it easy and neither should I. The narrow path will lead us to life.”

  3. Hannah, what you said makes a lot of sense. There’s a huge difference between “happiness” and “joy.” Happiness depends on circumstance…Joy is independent of circumstance. Happiness is a surface emotion…Joy runs deep. Living for Christ brings joy, but I think we can have happiness even when we don’t know Christ. I’ve grown up as a Christian, but there was a long period in my life were I struggled with deep depression caused by a variety of factors. I didn’t have joy during that time, but I had a small seed of hope that I would not have had if I did not know Christ. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and I think we must be truly seeking God and following Him for it to develop.

    1. Great response Carly. I think you hit the nail on the head. I may have been happy before but I surely didn’t have joy. I don’t think I really knew what it was.

  4. Life is what you make of it…you could ask the question is a Christian happier than a Hindu…there is no right or wrong answer..
    You can choose to be happy in life, it us about seeing the best around you and not dwelling on the negative.

    1. That’s actually how I felt before I got saved. I still think the way we react to things greatly makes a difference whether you are or are not a Christian. I do think my faith has allowed me to deal with life’s challenges more now than before.

  5. Hello Kristeen, i,n so interested, this conversation. My tetimony, both i,m happy. My unbelievers life, i,m enjoyed, but in just a moment. Easily gone, discontented life, something i,m longing for. But i donnot know what is it. Emptiness, even i’ve been achieve all i want, is just still lacking. Religion, is a rubbish for my previous life. Now i,m “Born Again Christian” and having Right Relationship with God. In 12 years. Believers of Jesus Christ. Wow genuine happiness & enjoyment in my life that the world can’t give.” Because, Jesus Christ is my Shepherd, i have everything i need,” Hallelujah” thank you. “God Bless You.” in your ministry.

    1. Thank you Patricia for giving your feedback and experience on this topic. I know that it’s different for everyone and I am very happy to hear that God has done a work in your life. Amen!

    1. I like that way you put that… sustainable. I would have to agree with you. Looking back, I would say there were moments of happiness and sadness… but overall I was hopeful.

  6. I hate to say it but though I have been more stable since I got saved, I am still running around w/ a low level of depression (sometimes moderate, sometimes suicidal ideation) – but I definitely am more stable. Have not been in the hospital. Unfortunately my work life is still not that great, I can work for short periods of time, then the depression and anxiety take over. Which messes with my head – if I am a Christian I can do all things through Christ, right? And also, if I am a Christian shouldn’t I be better able to keep my promises and keep at the job? It’s frustrating 😦

  7. Thank you for your honest response KBailey. I know that being a Christian doesn’t make all of our struggles go away. In fact, my best friend has suffered with depression and suicide tendencies most of her life as a devout Christian. When I talk to her, I encourage her and remind her of her faith. I remind her that she is not alone and that God wouldn’t have her here without a purpose. This is a woman that has tried to commit suicide many times over, has had at least two cancer battles, and at only 35, has probably had more than 50 heart attacks. She has seen and experienced more abuse than anyone I have ever known and yet, at the same time I really don’t know everything she has been through. She keeps to herself, not wanting to bother me and sometimes even just speak of the horrors that she has had to deal with. She works hard at life, feeling like every day is a struggle just to survive. I was there the day she got baptized when she last came to visit me and I saw quite the transformation. Yet, I have also seen her anxieties and stress take her back down to her old world. There is evil in this world that doesn’t want to let go of her, and you may have similar battles. What I can tell you is that as much as she has tried to give up, God won’t let her. Before I was saved, I looked at my best friend as a pinnacle of strength because of how much she has survived in this world. The good news that I tell her and that I will tell you is that God keeps His promise. Sometimes, we can get so lost in our own struggles that we fail to see a world outside of ourselves that needs saving. I encourage you to fight depression by helping others with theirs. It takes strength, yes, but in order for us to find the light, we need to step out of the darkness. I will be praying for you, and praying that you find ways to serve in your community, in your church. It is amazing how much it can lift your spirits and start digging away the ugliness we so often carry inside when we move on despite our pain.

  8. I just found this quote on another blog regarding Jesus and Santa Claus (thank you Tiffany Lee). It’s how I felt before I became a Christian…

    “Philippians 4:11-12 (NLT) ~ Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”

    I find it interesting that this is in the bible and yet it still applies now. The difference is before I learned not to have expectations because I always got hurt. Now, I know that Jesus secures all of my needs.

  9. God for me filled a hole in my heart which i didn’t even know existed. You can ask a person in the world if they are happy and they will answer yes. This is because that is all they know. Its a different type of happiness that you get from God, its one that cant be stolen or taken away from you.
    So the answer is yes sure they can but its different to the one you can find in God

  10. Miss Gillooly, I like the title of this essay – so I’m going to use it. Just the title, not the whole article. Check at OldManMontgomery.wordpress.com. If you don’t like it, tell me and I’ll remove the whole thing.

    Thanks. I’ll be around.

  11. Yes you can be happy if not a Christian because IGNORANCE IS BLISS. Until you cross over to Christ to discover an Eternal Abundant Joy of of the Lord. Christ gives deeper meaning to happiness not tied to anything except pure Love of God. Happiness takes on whole new meaning to bear greater fruit within and without self. God said, heathen know how to give good gifts to make each other happy. How much more God is PLEASED to make His Children happy to celebrate and enjoy life. The definition of happiness is relative in each context as a generic term. A broad expression of happiness contains spending time with family, contentment, fulfilment of God given gifts, talents, abilities. Eating healthy good food, sound sleep, rest, peace of mind, loyal reliable friends and family. A career to bless others brings joy and happiness to fellow human beings all over the world.Helping the disadvantage brings happiness and healing in Jesus Name as it done unto Jesus to make God happy.

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