Yale University was recently surprised by the interest in a new class being offered dubbed by the students as a class on "happiness." Officially entitled "Psychology and the Good Life," nearly 1,200 students, one-fourth of the undergrads, enrolled. This made it the most popular class in the school's 316-year history.
Psychology professor Laurie Santos said that she "tries to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life" in the twice weekly lectures. Assignments include a personal improvement project with the objective of increasing gratitude, social connections and less procrastination.
Yale leadership admits the need for help in the area since more than half of the undergraduates "sought mental health care from the university during their time at the school." They are hoping such a practical course might shift the campus culture since it is becoming common knowledge that happiness does not come from a high grade or a good-paying job.
Yale, along with many of the modern universities, began as a Bible-based college, training pastors and other leaders in the Biblical world view. Several decades ago, they began a switch to "secular," adopting the godless "theory" of evolution as the foundation of a humanist world view.
God has been declared dead, the Bible only another book of legends and myths, leaving the God-shaped vacuum in the human heart still vacant. But lining up at the mental health office doesn't seem to do it either. Focus is shifting back to "man's search for meaning."
Satan's trickery here is most clever. How better to discredit God's truth, than make up a bunch of other counterfeit religions, lump Biblical Christianity in with the mess, and call them all just myths and legends.
He has convinced a whole generation that if there even is a God, He couldn't care less about us. We are on our own to figure it out for ourselves.
Most of these university students have grown up in the public schools. Many have had to take remedial courses in basic language and math to qualify for college entrance. Now, the colleges are also having to deal with "remedial" training in how to live.
And "positive psychology" is not enough to fill the spiritual vacuum in these students. They have essentially "thrown the baby out with the bath water." Using evolutionary theory to eliminate the need for a Creator, they have lost contact with the one source of true happiness —Biblical Christianity.
By definition, a counterfeit requires a real one to copy. If all the other religions are perverse imitations, what are they trying to imitate or supplant?
Psychology, the study of the "psyche," has overlooked the very "operating manual" for the human race, the book written by its Designer. It is sad that all the efforts of the university to deal with the unhappiness of the students will only direct them down the wrong path.
One of the appeals of the most popular Chick tract, This Was Your Life, is that it speaks to both sides: a life that refuses God's love and leads to a confusion and eternal fire —or "happiness" today and eternal joy available to the believer.
The Yale leadership is looking for a way to improve the culture of the campus. Surely, they are not alone. Students all have the same need regardless of where they are. Why not seed a few hundred copies of This Was Your Life into a college or university campus near you and see if might help?
Most schools have a Christian club that meets on campus. They might take up the challenge. If not, you only need a stack of tracts and a spot on the sidewalk near the entrance where they come and go.