Happiness or Holiness?

If you have been a Christian for very long, you have probably heard the phrase “God desires your holiness more than your happiness.” Perhaps this is inferred from Romans 8:29 where God’s purposes are described as conforming us to the image of His son and Romans 8:18 where our present sufferings cannot compare to the glory that will be revealed to us. However, as a result of that catchy phrase, I developed a distorted/ false image of God. When I pictured God, the image that came to mind was an Olympic coach. I imagined him waking me before dawn to begin training, eliminating all pleasure and any activities which did not directly relate to the pursuit of holiness. If holiness was the gold medal, my coach wanted all of my time and energy focused on this. My life became a tight rope, a balancing act trying to make every action contribute to this goal of holiness.

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Through the HOLY Spirit and the teachings of wise women in my life, I abandoned this distorted characterization of God. Realizing that through the perfect life and sacrificial death of Jesus, my holiness has been secured. His perfect righteousness is credited to my account. As His grace permeates my life, my walk is no longer a tight rope but more like a hike through the woods. With the Lord as my guide, I have confidence, not because I have chosen a certain path, but because I am on a journey with the One who is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.

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