True Happiness, and How to Discern the Difference

This week I came across an incredibly simple, yet compellingly powerful phrase on social media. It said:

“Ha. No”.

It was love at first gaze. Because sometimes I just need to laugh, and remind myself that “No.” is a complete sentence. Here’s why:

“We are a generation of young [adults] who were told that we could BE anything and instead, we heard we have to DO everything.” -Courtney E. Martin

All the “doing” leaves us feeling less than—less than capable, less than courageous, less than strong. We hear the whispers of “not enough” that rob us of real heart-desires and instill worst case scenarios.

We start justifying, reasoning, analyzing, and bringing all of our self-defeating baggage into our situations and relationships. We berate ourselves for what we aren’t doing, thinking: “If only I could just do and have everything for everyone … I should’ve… Why can’t I … Why don’t I…”. The list goes on.

We feel bad about drawing the boundary of “No.” in our lives, forgetting the freedom it brings. Our culture reinforces such a frenzied, material, comparative notion of ‘happiness’; that leaves us feeling anything but.

In our quest for true happiness, we forget to start by first seeking alignment with His holiness.

But who cares about eternal holiness when we can have instant happiness — right?

You should. I should. We all should.

And I’m not talking about the kind of “should-ing” that feels like condemnation, but the kind that convicts.

Because life has a way of tainting your happy but it cannot permeate what’s holy.

Circumstance + time will tell what’s really on your heart, and when it does, it will ruthlessly display it for all the world to see. Holiness aligns our hearts with His. Holiness brings a conviction that breeds a fullness, not easily shaken. It gives your happiness a purpose, and a voice to His truth. It positions you to give [and receive] an overflow— of grace upon grace [John 1:16].

“Refuse to wallow in the depressing angst condemnation brings. On the other hand, embrace any conviction you feel. Condemnation defeats us. Conviction unlocks the greatest potential for change”. – Lysa TerKeurst

A life of repeatedly seeking holiness requires you verbally tell the enemy to kick rocks so you can say, “Yes.”, to the vibrancy of what God has for you.


It is the sanctifying journey of a lifetime. We can and never will “arrive”. But we can:

  • Work for a cause, not for applause.
  • Speak to be real, not to be impressive.
  • Connect “to be true, not to be popular” – Marilyn Skinner


By trusting the true north of his holiness, not looking to the right or to the left [Isaiah 30:21], it generates authenticity. Happiness is its natural by-product (not the other way around).

And when you can gracefully, freely, authentically, be YOU, you genuinely create space for others to be, too. That’s what the world really needs.

People passionately pursuing eternal holiness, not desperately clutching instant happiness; draining it for all its worth.

I pray these things from the deepest part of my craving heart, to yours. In Jesus’ name…

… The only name that could ever give us the strength to laugh without fear of the future, and boldly respond to the lies of the enemy with: “Ha. No.”

Where in your life are you choosing what makes you happy over what you know is holy? How can you make a different decision today that brings you closer to the path that God has set for you?

Enjoyed this article? Share it!

Recommended Posts
  • Sophia

    Kaitlyn, thank you for sharing this piece with us! Love the questioning and wonder this provokes. Have a great day!

    • Kaitlyn Hiltz

      Absolutely! I’m glad I was able to and that it sparked those emotions. Thank you, Sophia!

  • livewithpurpose

    Kaitlyn, Your words ring so true! I constantly hear – “we are going to change the world” – the burden that comes with those words is immense, especially when we stop to realize that the one person who can truly change the world has already been here – and will return to complete what he has begun!