Devotions

Should We Seek Holiness or Happiness?

December 12, 2018
“How happy is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways!” Psalm 128:1 (HCSB)
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All my life I’ve wanted to be happy, but I felt low-grade guilt over seeking happiness. Weren’t Christians just supposed to strive to be holy, not happy?

For too long, I believed the lie that joy was godly and spiritual, and happiness was shallow and selfish. But as I kept walking with Jesus, I came to understand that seeking to follow God and seeking happiness can go hand-in-hand.

There’s nothing in the Bible that separates the concept of joy and happiness — they have the same meaning according to the original languages of Scripture. God tells us repeatedly in His Word to be happy. Commands such as “rejoice,” “be of good cheer,” and “give thanks” are all ways of telling us to be happy.

God designed us to seek happiness in Him and to want the source of our happiness to be in Him. As a woman of God, I now believe we should seek Holy Happiness.

As I continued studying Scripture in light of the truth that God’s commands for us are a recipe for happiness, I discovered that happiness in our lives is directly connected to two things: our connection with Him and others, and our contentment. As I focused on the quality of my connections and leaned into contentment, I found my happiness.

We find this reminder in Psalm 128:1, “How happy is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways!”

And I discovered that by adding small, simple habits in my life, I became a little happier every day. I’ve found these three things help build happiness:

  1. Focus on gratitude.

At the end of every day, I ask my boys what their three wins for the day are. I ask them in this way because when I tried to ask my sons what they were grateful for each day, they looked at me like I had three heads.

But when I ask my boys what their wins are, I trick them into practicing the discipline of gratitude with me! By looking for the wins, they identify things that are good, and those are the things they are grateful for.

This practice of gratitude is not just for the boys, but for their momma, too!

  1. Find your Battle Buddies.

A friend told me that in the Army, they have something called “battle buddies.” A battle buddy is someone who supports you and looks out for you in and out of battle.

Don’t we all need a couple of great battle buddies on our journey with us?

Just as a blacksmith will use metal on metal to form it for its intended purpose, God will use certain people in our lives to sharpen and mold us into who He is making us to be. (Proverbs 27:17)

Identify your battle buddies who look out for you, encourage you, and are there for you when life looks more like a battlefield than we’d like!

  1. Talk to yourself in a manner worthy of you.

Jesus says our mouths speak from the overflow of our hearts. (Luke 6:45) If we truly believe we are His workmanship and are loved by our Father, our words will reflect that truth, both to ourselves and others.

The Lord has done a great work in you. Don’t let your own mouth be a tool the enemy can use against you to steal your happiness and confidence. You are fearfully and wonderfully made — created in God’s image!

Make a promise to God and to yourself that you will only speak to yourself in a manner worthy of God’s image-bearer.

As women of God, let’s be the ones who do the Kingdom work of fighting for authentic, holy happiness and teach our families, friends and communities by our example.

Lord, thank You for creating us to find our happiness in following and loving You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Psalm 112:1, “Hallelujah! Happy is the man who fears the LORD, taking great delight in His commands.” (HCSB)

RELATED RESOURCES

Alli Worthington’s newest book, The Year of Living Happy: Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World is available now! You’ll have 100 short entries giving you all the keys to a happier life. You’ll get encouragement, journaling space and easy-to-do action steps.

CONNECT

Download seven free chapters of The Year of Living Happy today! Click here to get your free gift.

Enter to WIN a copy of The Year of Living Happy. In celebration of this book, Alli’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here in our comments section. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, December 17.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND

What were you taught about happiness? Did you grow up believing it wasn’t what God wanted for you?

What would it look like to believe what God says in the Bible — that He created you for Him and wants your happiness?

© 2018 by Alli Worthington. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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