The Happiness Of Holiness

We don’t tend to link holiness with happiness.

We link holiness with austerity, seriousness and avoiding pleasure.  When many think of holiness, they think of medieval monks, prudish Puritans (though I’ve read that many weren’t) formality, frowning faces, stiff, starched white collars.

But God is holy, and he is the happiest being in the universe.  Robert Murray M’Cheyne had a good grasp of the happiness of holiness:

“To gain entire likeness to Christ, I ought to get a high esteem of the happiness of it.  I am persuaded that God’s happiness is inseparably linked in with his holiness.  Holiness and happiness are like light and heat.  God never tasted one of the pleasures of sin.

Christ has a body such as I have, yet he never tasted one of the pleasures of sin.  The redeemed, through all eternity, will never taste one of the pleasures of sin; yet their happiness is complete. . . Every sin is something away from my greatest enjoyment. . . .

The devil strives night and day to make me forget this or disbelieve it.  He says, Why should you not enjoy this pleasure as much as Solomon or David?  You may go to heaven also.  I am persuaded this is a lie – that my true happiness is to go and sin no more.”

Satan’s greatest lie is that holiness is boring, like black and white TV shows from the 50’s, but sin is 3-d full color high octane joy.  Though sin has pleasure for a season, it can’t produce any lasting or deep joy.  The Bible says, “In your presence is fullness of joy.”  God’s presence is pure holiness.  And that’s where the fullness of joy is.

We need to remember this when we’re tempted to give in to the momentary pleasures of sin.  We need to say to ourselves, If I do this I’m robbing myself of joy and pleasure in Christ.  Holiness is my happiness.

Comments

  1. says

    Great post Mark.

    Reminds me of the famous line from the Shorter Catechism:

    Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
    A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.

    Thanks for the reminder to enjoy our great God!
    Dave

  2. says

    Great quote and application – thanks for sharing!

    I wonder if, when we *think* we are being holy, but are somehow bored or unhappy or finding no delight in it, that we are actually not being holy at all! If to be holy is to be somewhat like God, set apart from man's sinfulness, and *delighting* in what is truly good, then we have evidently missed something significant in what holiness means, if we are unhappy in doing or being what we think "holy" is. Some good things to ask ourselves as we do "holy" things…

    Just some food for thought, and I'd welcome critical thinking and responses.

    • MarkAltrogge says

      Great comments Mark! I agree with you. Our obedience should produce joy. If we are unhappy obeying the Lord, then we are truly missing something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>