Holy, Not Happy

I read an email the other day that really hit me.  It is supposedly the text from an interview done by the author of Purpose Driven Life.  I don’t know if it’s really Rick Warren’s words or not, but some of it was pretty profound.

It spoke of God caring more for your character than your comfort; more for your holiness than your happiness.

That really hit me.  Too many times, especially in American churches, we have the idea that God is our butler.  That’s how my son puts it.  We think once we accept Christ that life will be lovely and easy.  How wrong we are.  Even if we don’t buy into the easy life of christianity, some of  us still get sucked into the idea that God will work all things out for our comfort and happiness and wealth.  Again, how wrong of us.

Yes, God loves his chldren and will give us good gifts.  No, that is not what this life is all about.  This life is heaven practice.  What we do with our salvation and our lives here will effect eternity.  On so many different levels.  So our goals should be less about seeking our comfort in a crappy, fallen world and more about fixing our crappy, broken characters.  We should be more concerned about living lives holy and glorifying to God and less concerned about whether we and our family are happy.

Happiness and comfort are fleeting.  Character and holiness define our whole lives; the having of it or the lack of it. 

This is a scary concept to me.  I neeeeed my comfort.  Not necessarily a big house, brand new car, lots of money in the bank and a 401k that triples every year.  Although all of those things would be really cool.  No, I mean I need the comfort of enough money to pay the bills, buy food, put gas in the cars and do some of the things we want to do.

Happiness I already know is fleeting, but holiness?  I have way too many self worth issues to handle working toward holiness.  Holiness to me is a foreign concept.  I don’t really get it. 

It makes sense to me, and the Bible bears it out, that God is not concerned so much with how happy and content we are.  We tend to turn away from God during those times anyway.  He won’t with hold happiness and comfort from us, but He will also use any and all means to get our attention and get us back on the track where He wants us.  Being happy and content and comfortable are just a whispy shadowy glimpse of what heaven will be like.  Let’s make sure we are all ready for it when we get there.

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