Does Happiness Trump Holiness?


One word, NO!  A lady came to me one day in church complaining about how unhappy her husband was making her and she thought she should divorce him because “God doesn’t want me to be this unhappy”.  She had been talking to me for several minutes about how bad he was to her before she made that statement.  Her comment undid me and I looked at her and said, “God doesn’t care a hoot about your happiness … He cares about your holiness!”

I look around at so many today who seem to think only about their happiness.  What can they do that will make themselves happy.  I would like us to begin to think, “What can I do to make Jesus happy?”

We are saved by grace … no doubt about it!  None of us are good enough to save ourselves.  None of us can become good enough to save ourselves.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith …” (Ephesians 2:8).

However, once we are saved what do we do then?  When a baby comes into this world we feed the baby, we cloth the baby, we watch the baby grow.  Probably every parent has hugged their sweet little one and wished, “Oh, if only I could keep you this tiny!” And yet if that truly happened our hearts would break because our child wasn’t growing, wasn’t becoming what should be happening in a life.

What does God think when He looks at us as new children of His or even “long term” Christians but sees no growth?  We remain infants.

There are so many things to learn, to grow, to study … to BECOME in Him.  One thing He has commanded us is to “be holy even as I am holy”.  For many years “holiness” got a bad wrap.  Meant no fun, can’t do this, can’t do that, don’t go there, must do this, guys don’t wear ties and girls long dresses and hair in buns.  This is NOT holiness.

Many today say, “Oh you don’t have to do anything once you come to Christ. You are now in Him and you are safe.”  That’s rubbish!  To be holy like Jesus, to become what He wants us to be … takes effort … takes time … takes growth … we must daily crucify our evil natures and desires, to put them down … means we feed on His Word, find out what He wants us to be and becoming like Him means to become holy as He is holy.

Holiness … being set apart, consecrated, dedicated, separated in a spiritual way is the essence of holiness.  Set apart from the world and unto God.  We are still a part of the world but we are on our way to becoming like Him.  Thoughts, actions, likes and dislikes, emotions … We don’t think like the world, we don’t act like the world, we don’t talk like the ungodly we think “How would Jesus react?”

The Word of God, the Bible is our standard. It’s our measuring stick.  It is truth.  It’s His holiness in me that makes Him happy.

There is an old illustration that my daddy used to give in one of his sermons and I’ve heard it in others … a lady wanted to hire a new chauffeur so she placed an ad in the local paper.  Several applied for the position so she asked each one to take her for a ride up into the mountains.  She told each one to see how close they could get to the edge of the cliff without going over!  One got about a foot away from the edge, another six inches and the last applicant stopped the car, turned around and said, “Ma’am, I don’t want to see how close to the edge I can get, I want to stay as far away as possible from the edge!”  He got the job.

That is the way we must live … not how close we can live to the edge of sin but how far away can we stay from sin and grow in likeness of Him.

We will not always be happy … but we can be joyful!  Holiness trumps happiness any day!

“To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, all I ask is to be like Him.  All through life’s journey from earth to glory.  All I ask, to be like Him”.

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