Are You Happy or Holy?
Thanks to the world of Facebook, I have had the privilege of being able to discuss matters of faith with people all around the globe.
One question that came up recently was the apparent dichotomy between being happy and being holy.
I was reading a discussion thread where a worship leader in the USA commented that he was struggling with living a holy life and being happy.
He was dedicating every waking moment to his ministry, getting up early to pray, leaving the house before his wife and children were up so that he could be at church leading worship at various different early morning prayer groups.
He would then work the whole day at church, praying regularly with different people, practising with the band and then leading a couple of bible study discipleship groups.
At the end of his work day he would remain a little longer and make sure he studied his Bible for a while before heading home for dinner.
After dinner he would head out again to help with the youth group before returning home at 10 p.m. exhausted. He would crawl into bed and do pretty much the same thing again the next day.
Being “holy” was causing him to burn out.
“I’m in my dream job, in the career I’ve always wanted and yet trying to be holy has destroyed my happiness.”
As Christians, particularly those of us who are heavily involved in church ministry, there is a tendency towards feelings of guilt when we are not being holy enough.
I know that I definitely have weeks where I haven’t read my Bible every day and I start wondering if I am losing my holiness.
We are called to be set apart for God and yet I sometimes think that to everyone else I’m fairly normal.
Should I be wearing socks and sandals?
Should I be the one standing on the street corner, shouting at the sinners from my soapbox of holiness?
It’s too easy to forget that it isn’t what we do that makes us holy, but rather, it is whose we are.
Acts 20:32 says this: “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart [or made holy] for himself.”
Acts 26:18 tells us that it is through our faith in Him that we are made holy.
I wasn’t able to find a verse that supports the idea of holiness through works…
Here’s the thing:
God loves you.
He loves you completely and utterly.
He loves you through and through, without prejudice or exception.
He only wants what’s best for you.
I think this may be where the confusion lies.
We think that God wants us to obey Him because God is King and kings have demands. We think that when God hasn’t told us to do something specific we should fill our time doing things that we think He wants us to do.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to please God, however, when your works are stealing your joy,
when your ministry is robbing you of your family, your friends and your happiness,
when your quest for holiness is taking you away from that place of encounter with Him,
then it’s not what He wants.
He longs for your happiness.
He is a Dad who simply desires that His children be happy and fulfilled, fully embracing who they were made to be, fully engaged in a relationship with Him.
You know what makes us Holy?
the moment He picks us up in His arms, enfolding us,
telling the world:
“This is my son. This is my daughter. With them I am well pleased.”