You ever been accused of acting holier than thou? Well, I have, maybe not quite in those words, but old friends have wondered why I don’t do what I used to do, go where I used to go and say what I used to say. “That’s just not what I do anymore. God has really changed me,” I say, playing it safe when really the response should be “I’m trying to live holy.” But that sounds so rigid, so legalistic, so holy. Nonetheless, holiness is what God calls us to. His call to holiness is not for us to think we’re better than others so we shun them, and it’s not to set us up for others to shun us. God says, “Be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16) to indicate to us why holiness is important.
Holiness is important because when you set yourself apart from what others are doing so God can use you, others will know that there is a power at work in your life other than you. When people acknowledge this power, we can’t just stop at saying, “God has really changed me.” We must give details about this change, to be a witness of the power of Jesus Christ in our lives. Holiness is to point others to Jesus Christ—not to you—so they have a relationship with God and can, too, walk in holiness. You are not the focus of holiness; God is the focus of holiness. “Be ye holy, for I am holy” is like God is saying, “In order for you to represent me to a world that needs the hope that only I can give, you must be like me.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 bears this out: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Others will be reconciled to God when we are holy, when we are the salt and light He tells us to be to an unsavory and dark world. We must be holy for our sakes, for the world’s sake, for Christ’s sake.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith