How to Be Happy (1)
Holiness brings happiness, but sin never can. Sometimes we find this hard to believe.
The story’s told of a mother saying to her son, ‘Be good, and have fun.’ He replies, ’Please make up your mind!’ How revealing! Today the word ‘holiness’ has gotten a bad rep. Some see it as a list of all the things the church says you can’t do. Others think of those who claim to practice holiness, but who come across as rigid, joyless, narrow, and judgmental.
So let’s define it: ‘Holiness is the whole of Christ in the whole of life.’ Furthermore, holiness vanishes when you talk about it; it only becomes attractive when you live it. ‘The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22 ESV). The only thing that adds no sorrow is the blessing of the Lord.
James writes, ‘ Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death’ (James 1:15 ESV). When we’re immature we think we can sin and get away with it, but as we grow wiser and more mature we know better. You’ll never meet a smoker who recommends his or her habit. And you’ll meet very few who shipwrecked their marriage, then recommends an affair.
The law of the harvest is:
‘…for whatever one sows, that will he also reap’ (Galatians 6:7 ESV).
Sin destroys your capacity for happiness. A loving parent doesn’t want to see their children get hurt—and God is a loving parent. David, who tasted the bitter fruits of sin first-hand, wrote, ‘Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’ (Psalms 29:2 KJV). Holiness is a beautiful thing when you fully understand and practise it.
‘If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’ John 13:17 ESV