Happiness or Holiness?

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written “Be holy, because I am holy” (I Peter 1:15-16).

What is the purpose of life? Why did God create us? What are we living for? Typically these are questions kids start asking during the teenage years, and many people often continue asking these questions into their adult years. Many times in our lives we seek our personal happiness above all else. It occurred to me recently that my happiness shouldn’t be the thing in life I strive for most. Rather, to glorify God with my life should be what drives me to do the things I do each day.

In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren gives some insights concerning what the purpose of our life should be. He says this, “God did not need to create you, but He chose to create you for His own enjoyment. You exist for His benefit, His glory, His purpose and delight.” Did you hear what he is saying here? We were created for God’s benefit, glory, purpose and delight. If we are created for God’s glory and benefit, how do we make our lives a fragrant offering to Him?

First and foremost, I think we do that by seeking to become holy. Ephesians 1:4 says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” I think God is more concerned about our character than He is about our comfort while on this planet. If God’s primary goal for us on this earth was to be happy all the time, I don’t believe He would’ve allowed pain and suffering to occur in our lives. As we all know, God does allow all of us to suffer, and it is through these times of suffering that God desires to mold us and shape us into His image. As we are conformed to His image, we will then reflect His character to those in the world around us.

What can we learn from Jesus’ experiences while living on this earth? What was His purpose in being here? In John 6:38, Jesus helped to clarify His purpose when he says:

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” According to this verse, the purpose for Jesus being on this earth was not to accomplish His own will, but to fulfill the will of His father. As we know from Scripture, Jesus’ life was not a rosy journey. He experienced all sorts of trials such as temptations from the devil, persecution by those who didn’t believe in Him, and ultimately crucifixion. Based on these facts, it doesn’t appear that Jesus’ primary goal on this earth was to be happy. Rather, He sought to glorify His father through all He did.

There may be many moments in the midst of living with MCS where happiness may elude us day after day. If we shift our perspective a bit and make holiness rather than happiness our goal, I think we will lead a much more satisfying life. This week, let’s make our aim in life to be holy, not happy. As we do this, God will fill us with His peace that passes understanding as we seek to glorify Him with our lives.


Categories Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 13, 2011

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