“GOD JUST WANTS ME TO BE HAPPY” (WOW! Write On Wednesday takes @ 2 minutes to read)

166702_552665164755356_828459902_nIf we’ve heard this phrase once, we’ve heard it a million times. Usually it’s a husband or wife who wants out of their marriage. We have, however, heard it from people not happy in their jobs, their family, their church, their neighborhood, etc. You get the picture.

Joe and I have read the bible a number of times, and have yet to find where God talks about making us happy and/or where He even says it’s His responsibility to make us happy.

The only verse that comes close to something about God making us happy I found in Job 5:17, “Therefore happy is the man whom God corrects, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” If you’re so inclined, reading to the end of that chapter is quite eye-opening. What this is telling me is that it’s through God’s correction and discipline that we will be “happy” (i.e. find happiness.)

So, I’m just curious. If we took out the word HAPPY and inserted the word HOLY to our various scenarios, sentences, and conversations, I wonder how it would sound. Gary Thomas, one of my favorite authors, has suggested in his writings that God’s real desire for us is to be holy. Holy doesn’t always equate to happiness, but it can lead to joy; joy in knowing that we are living well, serving well, acting well, etc.

So let’s try it and see how it sounds: Instead of “God wants me to be happy in life;” we would say, “God wants me to be holy in life.” “God wants me to be holy in my marriage.”  “God wants me to be holy at my workplace.” Wow! That sounds different! And how different our lives could be if we started doing this!

Perhaps we’ll all try this exercise the next time we feel we deserve something more, better, and/or exciting. Perhaps we’ll please God (make HIM happy!) by doing so!

 

THE STANDARD OF MEASURE BY WHICH WE APPEAR TO BE HOLY (WOW! Write.On.Wednesday! @ 2 min. to read)

Justification is proving oneself to be right or reasonable; pronouncing oneself free from guilt and blame (thank you, Mr. Webster) but I also heard it defined as “the standard of measure by which we appear to be holy.” It’s not a direct quote, but it’s my paraphrase as I heard it from Charles Stanley and quickly wrote down (as best as I could) a few weeks ago.

I’ve been mulling over that thought for weeks now. I love it. I hate it. It’s true.

Each of us, no matter what we do, whether it’s…

  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Helpful
  • Sinful
  • Enabling
  • Kind
  • Mean-spirited
  • Making a point
  • Sharing our “view”
  • In a relationship
  • Out of a relationship
  • __________

…..we will justify it to fit our needs, make us look better, and ultimately tell ourselves (as we try to convince others and God) that we are holy and really OK!

Isn’t it so true? Let’s look at a few fast examples:

  • People in bad relationships find all kinds of ways to make it right, make it sound right, make it look right….even though it looks, feels, and is wrong. (Everyone else can see it.)
  •  Parents not disciplining their typically able and developing children have every excuse for why they don’t deal with the misbehavior: my child is fussy, they’re tired, they’re having a bad day, we’re waiting for the diagnosis, I’m tired, I’ve had it, etc. (Everyone knows you’re just not doing what you know you should.)
  •  Choose one that applies: lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, enabling, committing adultery, slandering, gossiping, etc. We all put our own “spin” on why it’s right, OK, and sensible….and it’s usually due to the “other” person who’s made me do it – often because we feel our own needs aren’t being met fully and properly.(Watch carefully as brows furrow and eyebrows rise. It’s their look of utter shock as we think we’ve fooled them!)

AND….we all do it. Catch yourself. Then let’s be honest with our self and instead of justifying our actions, sins, mistakes, preferences, comforts, demands, etc. – own up to what is true, right and honorable. It would change us, our families, and our culture. It would mean we’re taking life and our self seriously. Dare we?