16 “Be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:16
We live in a culture of instant gratification where we care less about enduring a little delay for future fulfilment and more about enjoying immediate satisfaction.
Instant gratification is like two minutes noodles. We expect quick and easy results without much effort. This is most evidenced by the pervasive message, “You should be happy and you should be happy now”. If we are to transfer this false assumption into our own relationship with God, any seeming delay on God’s part will create a false impression that God doesn’t care about us.
Our prayer might sound something like this, “God, I thought you want me to be happy”. And what if God’s answer is, “I want you to be holy”? This does not mean that God doesn’t care about our happiness. He does. However, God’s perspective is different from ours. To Him, our happiness is secondary to our holiness.
Many believers, however, struggle to maintain a proper understanding of their life in Christ, and this creates a misconception that holiness is like walking on a tightrope and you really have to walk it carefully to avoid falling into either sin or error. When you make holiness a goal of spiritual perfection and not a love relationship with the Father, you will sooner or later see holiness as more of a burden than a blessing. This is because you want to earn holiness, and not enjoy holiness.
You are created by God for holiness.
In the context of 1 Peter 1:16, when God says, “Be holy, as I am holy”, our Father is not making a demand of us, but extending an invitation to us. When you develop a clear understanding of holiness, you will in due time discover the life of true happiness that God intended. The Apostle Paul tells us to do what God would do because every well-loved child imitates his or her Father (Ephesians 5:1-2). In this sense, holiness is pure happiness. This is because you are gladly reflecting back to God the beauty and truth of His character. As such, our yearning for holiness is our heart cry to be like our Father in heaven. It comes from a place of mutual love, and fear or guilt.
Chasing after happiness is making many unhappy. Learn to rest in the Father’s complete and unfailing love, and true happiness is the supernatural overflow of being His sons and daughters.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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