A Lesson in Holiness

“Holiness” is not a common word in our culture.

Most people don’t know what it means.

Even if they have vague of what it means, I would bet they don’t like the word.

Holiness conjures up images of Mother Teresa, Billy Graham or some old saintly person abstaining from alcohol, blockbuster movies and sleep in favor of prayer.  Or it brings to mind some unachievable spiritual high, some state of ethereal living in order to keep a halo from being revoked. It smacks of duty, obligation and something we have to strive for or we are out the will of God. Holiness sounds oppressing, restrictive and stuffy.

Prudish.

Separatist.

Unearthly.

Holiness is not a word people like much.

I am a person who sees God most clearly in the orchestration of events, situations and conversation. Last week I started reading a book called, “The Hole in Your Holiness.” The other day a friend sent me the chapter of book that was meaningful to him. The first sentence started, “Study universal holiness of life.” And while strolling through Twitter last Friday I came across Tim Keller’s tweet which read,” To be holy is to wholly belong to God.”

All of these are connected, I am sure. There is a lesson to learn here.  Thoughts to be thought. Disciplines to be exercised. Behaviors to alter.

Holiness is about our character in connection with God’s character. Kevin DeYoung says, “…the pattern of piety in the Scriptures is more explicitly about our character.”

Holiness = Character.

Holiness than is not about our beliefs, but our familiarity with God’s character.  Its about our lifestyle in relationship with the Almighty’s. It is not about otherworldly dimensions of faith, the abstract or the disembodied, but it is about the kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.

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