Home > Mallinak, Music, Questions > Does Jesus Want Everybody HAPPY?

Does Jesus Want Everybody HAPPY?

January 12, 2007

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For those who don’t know, Sunday Schools and Children’s Ministries sometimes teach their young people the song Jesus Wants Everybody Happy. The song goes like this:

Jesus wants everybody happy.
Jesus wants everybody glad.
Jesus wants everybody happy, happy, happy,
And he doesn’t want anybody sad.


The devil wants everybody grumpy.
The devil wants everybody sad.
The devil wants everybody grumpy, grumpy, grumpy,
And he doesn’t want anybody glad.


Let’s make Jesus happy,
And let’s make Jesus glad.
Let’s make Jesus happy, happy, happy,
And make the devil mad.

With hopes that the song did not wow you with its depth and clarity of thought, or with its reverent view of Jesus, we have a few thoughts that may help enlighten the users of said song.

Be Happy!Those who sing this song in their respective children’s ministries often choose the song to encourage cheerfulness in the class. Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and it isn’t one of the workers. We don’t want grumpy kids; after all, the teacher is grumpy enough already. We want happy kids. And what could be wrong with that, right? I mean, cheerfulness is good. We like happy people, don’t we? Let’s all put on our smiley buttons right now. Class! Sing with me! Everybody!

But wait just a second! What’s that I see on the back row? Is that Johnny’s hand I see up in the air? “What is it, Johnny?” “Johnny, do you have a question?”

We all wait patiently while Johnny stands to his feet, grinning shyly. “Teacher, does Jesus really want everybody happy? Does the devil really want everybody sad?”

Gulp. Hadn’t thought of that. Now that you mention it, I guess I don’t know for sure, Johnny. Let’s think about that here for a second before we start singing.

I’m struggling to believe that Jesus wants everybody happy. Call me skeptical. Maybe I’m bored. Maybe I have nothing better to do than find another song to mock. But I’m thinking that this is a stretch — or better yet a stretcher case. Does Jesus want everybody happy? Everybody? Does Jesus want people happy in their sin? Does he want them happy while rebelling against Him? Does he want people happy while they stubbornly refuse to repent? Because if so, what do we think we are doing, preaching against sin and all? Shouldn’t we instead be trying to make them feel comfortable? I mean, nothing puts a sinner in a bad mood faster than a prophet pointing his bony finger and saying, “Thou art the man.”

Funny thing, this. If Jesus wants everybody happy, then why does he often send them sadness? Should I remember this song at the funeral of a dear friend? Maybe we should all sing it. Solemnly, of course. “As the pallbearers carry the coffin out the back door, the congregation will rise and sing Jesus wants everybody happy.”

I wonder: if Jesus wants everybody happy, then how should I feel about sin? Does Jesus want me happy about it? Does he want me smiling? Non-judgmental (piety dripping from the ends of my mustache)? I mean, if Jesus wants everybody happy, then I need to be happy. All the time happy. Happy, happy, happy. Clap, clap, clap. Grin, grin, grin. Big cheesy grin with kool-aid edges.

What about the devil? Does he really want everybody grumpy? Then why do they advertise Bud Light with smiley people? Doesn’t the devil want sinners to be happy in their sin? Doesn’t he want them happy with themselves? Doesn’t he want them happy missing church? Doesn’t he offer them pleasures?

The truth is, Jesus doesn’t want everybody happy all the time. There are times when it is important – even vital that we groan for our sin. God does not want men comfortable sitting at church in willful sin. God does not want us happy with sin. God himself is not always happy.

Contrarily, the devil does not want everybody grumpy all the time. The devil, I believe, is most comfortable when men are most indifferent and unemotional. It seems to me that he strives to dull our senses, to lure us into a state of apathy and lukewarmness. To borrow from ole’ Screwtape,

Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts…

Now, it is undeniable that there is a sense in which Jesus wants everybody happy, and the devil wants everybody sad, although the terminology certainly is suspect. But ultimately, God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Man’s chief end, as the catechism says, is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord alway. So, we can say that this song is true ultimately. Ultimately, the devil wants everybody sad.

But is that what we meant by the song? I mean that, really. If we’re going to sing CCM, we at least oughta get a drum or two.

Categories: Mallinak, Music, Questions
  1. Gary Johnson
    January 12, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Eccl 7
    2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
    3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
    4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

    This goes along well with what you were saying

    And may we add one more question, “should we have the children singing songs about the devil in the first place”.

  2. January 13, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…..

  3. January 14, 2007 at 12:10 am

    We don’t clap.

  4. January 14, 2007 at 4:39 am

    Yea, I’m sure you don’t. But do you honk your nose, shake a hand, say Amen, say Praise the Lord, stomp your feet, pull a hair, sing a song, or any of those other good things? Huh? Huh?

    I’m sure you don’t clap. That’s what the ‘E’vangelicals do. And we don’t do that. That’s why we’re JackHammr, not JackHammer. No ‘E’ for ‘E’vangelical!

    BTW, has anyone heard this song at a ballpark?

  5. January 14, 2007 at 9:49 am

    The evangelical influence in Chicago has probably led the Cubs to sing those Sunday School songs, or is it vice versa?

    Actually, I enjoy clapping. I like big, hard, loud wrestler type claps that make the ear drums bleed. Gigantic applause. Especially if I liked whatever it was. I even like the one handed applause of British Parliament in which they smack their desks with their hands so they can keep one hand on their swords (or was it their powdered wigs?).

  6. January 14, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    I’m clapping.

  7. Travis Burke
    January 16, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    As long as no one breaks out in “Father Abraham” I am good.

  8. Tina
    March 15, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    This song talks about satin more than JESUS. It automatically trigers the mind to have more negative in our brains when we hear and learn something unless you are very strong in faith to believe it wont stay in your mind but if childern are reading this song the devil can get to there minds eaiser. They are not strong in faith. The devil mocks with the inocent the most remember. And of coarse JESUS wants every one happy if we are not is cause we hang our selves we make our selves unhappy by worshipping drugs,sex,money which is the root to all evil.The only way to be happy is to submit to our LORD JESUS. we have to learn to have a personal relationship with him loving HIM with all our soul,heart and mind. And once you do that if you do it right and love HIM like I do you will follow HIM and put HIM first and everything else will come into place and you will be blessed big time you will have so much love and joy. JESUS is the only way to fill that empty whole we all have in our hearts.Lets not try to put more negative in our childerns minds. When people talk about satin to little kids you shouldnt be talking about him more than JESUS you are just straight up putting satin first instead OF THE CREATOR jesus. Please do not cause the little ones astray either. GOD says straight up who ever causes one one of these littles ones astray it would be better for him to tie a mealstone to his neck and drop it into the ocean than rather to cause the little ones away. This is joke of a matter. Make our childern songs happy talking about JESUS more than satin.

  9. Tina
    March 15, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Honestly please let us to be more careful for our childerns sake and to make our Creator happy. we owe that to HIM remember HE did not have to make us live. For we could of been unborn and never to live in a world with so much beauty every were you look there is beauty the proof is in the pudding. The best thing for our childern is to be around things they will see and hear that are happy.

  10. Tina
    March 15, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Remember satin gets happy when we talk about him the most lets break it down to less talk about him. Thank you for reading my message to you . I really appreciate it I love God people we all our JESUS family we are here to love one another and help out and with advise that is why I am hear. Take care and have a beautiful day with love tina.

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