Choose Holiness over Happiness
“We are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires. Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15 GNT).
Today we live in an age of irresponsibility, where no one wants to admit that their problems are their own fault. We’ve all become victims. No problem we have is ever considered our fault anymore; it’s always somebody else’s problem. We blame others. We blame the government, the media, our parents, the schools, our DNA, and the environment—everything but ourselves.
The truth is that we bring most of our problems on ourselves. We just need to accept responsibility and quit blaming others. Every time we blame somebody else, we’re not admitting what the real problem is.
If you’re facing temptation right now, you’re never going to find freedom until you stop fixing the blame and start fixing the problem. Stop blaming other people! Even when other people have hurt you, it’s your reaction that’s causing the problem.
It’s amazing to me that some people even try to blame God for the messes in their lives. But God’s will never contradicts God’s Word. If God says, “Don’t do that” in the Bible, he will never tell you “yes” through a feeling. I don’t care how good the feeling is—when you listen to your feelings instead of God’s Word, you’re walking straight into a trap. One of the most common excuses I’ve heard to justify a multitude of sins is, “God wants me to be happy, and this will make me happy.”
God wants you to be happy. But God wants you to be holy more than he wants you to be happy. He wants you to obey him. You will never be totally happy when you ignore God’s will. In fact, you’re heading for destruction when you do that. The rules and principles in the Bible are not there just to make life miserable. They’re there for our own good.
The happiest people in the world are those who hang on to what God says and follow it, regardless of what their feelings say.
Talk It Over
What problems may result when we try to blame someone else?
Why is it significant that God wants us to be holy more than he wants us to be happy?
When have your feelings clouded your judgment about an important decision? What consequences did you face from your choice?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.