This note is meant to be short and…sweet. I could have written a book.
How are we living holy lives? Are we living them by being engrossed with reality TV shows like Survivor? Having multiple overly flirtatious relationships? Squandering our money on clothes, shoes, movies, sports gear, even food? What about telling your neighbor what your friend’s brother did last summer? What about that bumpin’ rap music that talks about grinding in a club? What about those tight shirts you wear? What about making sure that you are somehow the center of attention? What about manipulating situations so that your pride isn’t hurt at the cost of others? You cannot rationalize sex or even lusting after your boyfriend/girlfriend either just because one day you might marry them…if that.
Am I making you angry, convicted, or both? I think the time for dodging around these issues has ended, even at the cost of making a few people unhappy. I am not doing this maliciously or to just cause ruckus. The point is we need to see that we need holiness. Not only as individuals, but as a Body, and as a nation. Every one of those questions is portrayed in pop culture, as well as lived out by many Christians. It’s just not right. We look JUST like the world. We look no different other than another title over our head. After we were crucified with Christ, I think we replaced the title of Jesus of Nazareth – King of the Jews with every kind of abomination that is implied above and many more. We still claim to be up on that cross crucified with Him, but we still bear a different title than His. And that my friends, is just plain wrong. I am by no means condemning, but calling.
Now this might get me flamed too, but I’m going to say it anyways because this most of the time rings true. Those questions above can be rationalized away, but it is indicative of your relationship with God. If your heart is after those questions, and not God – then there is something wrong with your heart. I’m being bold, even though it’s not easy, in this because I need to be. No more dodging or rationalizing away and living a lukewarm Christian life. Christ said He spits out lukewarm water. That for us, is not good. Our heart has to be completely set on Him. God wasn’t joking when He said to love Him with what? ALL of our heart, ALL of our minds, and ALL of our souls. That doesn’t mean you can allow other things to get in the way of your love for Him, even your relationship with your wife or husband. He has to be your first love. Then you can love your husband/wife, friends, and enemies more completely than you can imagine because that love you love them with comes from Him.
True holiness is defined more than a part of Christianity, or as a response to our love for Him or even His love for us. Rather, holiness is central to that relationship with Him. It is that relationship with Him in a way as we build that relationship with Him it becomes more than just a byproduct of the relationship but it becomes who we really are. It doesn’t just characterize us but it becomes part of us, we literally become holy and exude His holiness by simply growing in our relationship with Him. We see to always view it separately as an aspect or a portion that has to be focused on along with focusing on Him, but it’s so much more than that. It’s who we become in Him, and the actions of holiness are just the overflow of that relationship. But for some, that defines the relationship with Him – instead of the relationship with Him defining our lives which is holiness (thanks Blake).
A call to holiness isn’t calling you to follow rules, it’s calling you to be in relationship with Jesus.