A Choice You Don't Have to Make
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. - Psalm 16:11
Our happiness and our holiness are not two separate things; they're the same thing. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the myriad of choices available to you each day? You may remember when buying a pair of jeans was a simple decision, there was only one pair you could buy, the blue pair. Jeans now come in a variety of colors and shapes. You can choose between jeans in a regular fit, slim fit, cropped, flared, wide, straight, or tapered, to name a few. Although having a variety of choices is a luxury, the task of choosing is often overwhelming.
I once heard David Asscherick passionately speak about the paradox of choice. He shared that, "As the number of choices grows further, the negatives escalate until we become overloaded." In other words, we would naturally think more choices would liberate us but paradoxically it leads to tyranny. When the world tells us that God's Law limits our freedom, the opposite is profoundly true. God's Law is not designed to limit our happiness, it is designed to bring the greatest measure of joy to our experience. The psalmist reveals that life’s fullest joy can only be experienced in God’s presence since He leads us to the greatest level of satisfaction.
In our pursuit of happiness, we can be tempted to think that happiness and holiness are two separate things when they are actually the same thing. Like two sides of the same coin, happiness and holiness cannot be separated from each other – trying to do so simply reduces the value of the experience. Ellen White writes, “’The pleasures and amusements of the world are never satisfying, or healing to the soul… When tempted, just say, He cares for me, He makes intercession for me, He loves me, He has died for me. I will give myself unreservedly to Him’”  God is more than enough to satisfy our emptiness; there is no gap in Him!
The enemy seeks to create a false dichotomy by provoking us to choose between holiness and happiness. The reality is we do not have to choose between Jesus and joy, Christ and church, doctrinal beliefs and devotion to God, the Law and freedom, holiness and happiness - it is both; there is no gap! Is there a choice paradox that is making you feel anxious? Is it possible that you do not need to choose, it is both/and? Write down the choice you need to make and ask God for the clarity you need.
Dear God, thank you for the gift of Your Law that frees me to experience the fullness of Your joy. I often feel anxious by the myriad of decisions I face each day; help me hold onto You and the safety found in Your promises. Remind me that no gap exists between my holiness and my happiness; they are the same in Christ Jesus.
 Ellen Gould White, Reflecting Christ (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985), 109.