The Fringe Benefit of Holiness
Have a nice day. We throw that expression around a lot in our culture. When you make a purchase, the cashier might say, "Thank you. Have a nice day." Or, maybe you want to return something, and you’re told, "No, we cannot take that back again. Have a nice day." It’s really their way of saying, "You can go now."
But what does it really mean to have a nice day? I suppose it would be a day free of sickness, conflict, and hardship—a day that is, well, nice.
That is how God is sometimes perceived. We might imagine Him thundering from Mount Sinai, "Have a nice day!" We like to think of Him as perpetually smiling, wanting us all to be happy, healthy, and wealthy.
I’m not suggesting that God cannot or will not bless us with health or even wealth. Nor am I suggesting that God doesn’t want us to be happy. But that is not God’s primary objective for us. God doesn’t sit around in Heaven and wonder how He can make us happier. What God is really interested in is how He can make us more holy. He wants us to be holy more than He wants us to be happy.
The remarkable thing is that if you really are a holy person, then you will, in turn, be a happy person. Happiness is the fringe benefit of holiness. What does it mean to be holy? Maybe if we respelled holy as wholly, as in wholly committed, we would get a better understanding of the word. You can be wholly committed to surfing or wholly committed to golfing or wholly committed to money. That is a commitment.
If you want to be holy, be wholly committed to God. You will be happy as a result.
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