What is Holiness? (and/or a user’s guide to holiness)
Thus, Holiness really comes down to Jesus.
Because holiness can’t be forced or coerced by a list of do’s and don’ts.
Deeper, holiness doesn’t and shouldn’t come from a place of “wanting to be a better person.”
Holiness isn’t something we can achieve by just our effort, we can’t give, literally or figuratively something to God- just like tithes, it’s all His. Give from your heart for Him, out of your love, gratitude, and thankfulness.
My dad preached this sermon to less than 100 people in an old train station converted into a church in Alberton, Montana. He talked about love’s response being obedience. He spoke on the fact that when looking at Christianity, “you see the benefit/reward, and you live the life.”
I break that down this way:
You (my paraphrasing)
See the reward, (love God and find his already-prepared love)
and you live the life (by responding with obedience to his plan, law and will).
That is the key to Christianity, and by definition, I think, a huge key to holiness.
Holiness is looking at God and saying, “This isn’t a sacrifice for me to:”
“Not see this movie even though others might, but because it’s an idol for me.”
“Not look at that website anymore, even though it’s not porn, but because it’s an idol for me.”
“Not read this magazine anymore, not because the magazine is bad, but because it’s an idol for me.”
“Not doing these things are a way for me to hold loosely to the world and firmly to you.
I do this because I’m thankful.
I do this because I’m loved.
I do this because I am more than any one thing.
This is why, after so many years of it being done by a single part of Christianity, the practice of Lent is making it’s way into the mainstream. It’s a way to release something for a time, and say “God, my love for you is more than this thing. I’m happy to give it up.”
That’s the huge thing about holiness- when you see all those “For Me” and “I do this” statements, it tells you an important thing: