Holiness as being and everyday life...
I come from a tradition that makes a really big deal about holiness. I think they do with with the best of intention and with the realization that holiness is really important for the follower of Jesus. The problem I ran into is that many people in said tradition is that they have a very poor practical theology of holiness, in my humble opinion. I’m sure this would upset some folks if they read this, they probably won’t read it, I think we’re ok. And if you are reading this and are upset... don’t loose your holiness over it. ;-)
Maybe this is an ongoing conversation, WAY to much for one blog post for sure. But i would argue that holiness is less about what you do or don’t do and much more about ones heart. I could have used the cliche, which is true but a bit to trite i think... “Holiness is more about who you know that what you do.” There is some truth in that but probably not nuanced enough for my liking. Anyway...
As yesterday’s post stated, it’s about being not just about doing.
Holiness isn’t about drinking or smoking, isn’t not about sex or sexuality, it’a not about dancing, cussing, watching TV or movies — or the lack of any of these activities in your life. It’s also not about going to church, reading your bible and praying. Not of these activities or the absence of them equals holiness in a persons life. It’s not about saving the world, feeding homeless or being a missionary either.
There is only one thing that is a 1 to 1 correlation to holiness and that is know Christ and him crucified. Everything else is secondary and a product of that which really is holiness, knowing Christ.
I’m pretty convinced that holiness is about the heart and the “being” of a person and way less about the doing, their actions whether positive or negative. The catch is, when put this simply i don’t think many would argue. The problem is that the conversation quickly and unfortunately moves into so many other things that i have listed above. I think it moves so quickly to morality and things of that nature that we struggle with really believe, in our bones and in our hearts that holiness is actually about being and not doing (or not doing). We could talk about our journey into holiness and wholeness and how some of these things we do or do not do and that they might be indicators of progress and maturity (i would add maturity — as Paul uses the term, is a really important idea here) but they are not the whole story and i don’t believe they are the proof of holiness.
This really is a big conversation.
Fruit could be an important part of this conversation. I would think that looking at Matthew 5 and 6, all that Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount up to the point where he challenges folks to “be holy as your heavenly father is holy” would be important words to look at.
I mean there is tons to look at in the scripture to add to this conversation. I definitely miss the emphasis on holiness, i think it’s important and something i want to continue to think about and challenge others to think about in their own lives.
We'll continue the conversation...
Grace and peace erik
PS :: The image above was one on found on the internet and was a womans interpretation of holiness. I like it! ( Here is where i found it. )