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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Holier Than Thou

There is a very sincere TV preacher who says, every so often, "I live a life that's holier than 99% of Christians."


He goes on to explain that he doesn't drink, smoke, or swear, and that he devotes much of his time and thought to God.

His self-assurance is quite impressive, but he's completely missing the point. Holiness has nothing to do with what you do, or don't do. Let me repeat that. NOTHING.

Holiness is simply being a lens that focuses God's love and compassion into the world. It's being the hands and feet of the Lord, and not hiding the light of your faith under a basket.

Holiness is the absence of self, and the total presence of God. It's not that your personality is destroyed, mind you, and the God somehow takes over your body, like a creepy alien in a bad sci-fi flick.

It's the ultimate fulfillment of your personality. I mean, think about it - God created you, right? He created your personality? Then why would he want to trash it when you become what he intended?

Holiness is also surrender, but it's an intelligent surrender. A popular song has the title, "Jesus, Take The Wheel". That's not right. You don't just throw up your hands, and sit back and do nothing. God made you smart. He didn't make you a weak, whining little loser who can't be perfect so he gives up.

Surrendering to holiness is saying, "OK, God. I'll follow your lead. Whenever I don't know what to do, I'll hit the knees, open the Book, and ask, and when you give me an answer, I'll do it. Even if i don't understand it."

It's great not to smoke, it's great not to drink. They're bad for your health.

It's great not to swear, because it's crude and boring. (The normal curses you're thinking of that 'use God's name in vain' actually don't...they just fall into the crude and unimaginative category. Truly using God's name in vain attaches it, seriously, to something antithetical to His purpose - it's intentional and intentionally evil, and has nothing to do with the shock and anger of a hammer applied to a thumb.)

But if you think this is taking you one step closer to holiness, you're wrong.

You don't walk up to holiness.

It's more like jumping off a cliff.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks - sometimes I wonder if many of the problems in fulfilling the Great Commission stem from the perception that 'holiness' is a required lifestyle that a lot of Christians claim, and none fulfill. That we're mired in a swamp of hypocrisy that we refuse to see.

      If we can only stop worrying about it, and let God shine through our hearts!