“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” Jn 13:17
Holiness brings happiness, but sin never can. Sometimes we find this hard to believe. The story’s told of a mother saying to her son, “Be good, and have fun.” He replies, “Please make up your mind!” How revealing! Today the word “holiness” has gotten a bad rap. Some see it as a list of all the things the church says you can’t do. Others recall those who claimed to practice holiness but came across as rigid, joyless, narrow, and judgmental. So let’s define it: “Holiness is the whole of Christ in the whole of life.” Furthermore, holiness vanishes when you talk about it; it only becomes attractive when you live it. “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow” (Pr 10:22). The only thing that adds no sorrow is the blessing of the Lord. James writes, “When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (Jas 1:15). When we’re immature we think we can sin and get away with it, but as we grow wiser and more mature we know better. You’ll never meet a smoker who recommends his or her habit. And you’ll meet very few who shipwrecked a marriage, recommending an affair. The law of the harvest is: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7). Sin destroys your capacity for happiness. A loving parent doesn’t want to see their children get hurt—and God is a loving parent. David, who tasted the bitter fruits of sin first-hand, wrote, “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Ps 29:2). Holiness is a beautiful thing when you fully understand and practice it.
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