Holiness is something that I have heard about since I became a Christian at age 13. It seemed impossible to fully understand, but yet I learned early on it was something a Christian should strive for.
Be holy as I am holy. (Lev 11.44, as quoted in 1 Peter 1.16).
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12.14)
Okay…so I am to “be holy.” Anyone else wondered what exactly that means? I know that I was brought up in my Christian faith to believe it was something akin to perfection in word and deed as a reflection of a heart towards God. Sounds good right? But while there might be some truth there I think it is slightly skewed and causes us to become self righteous individuals who attempt to earn God’s grace and acceptance (that we already have mind you).
So what is it?
I went to dinner with some friends last night to celebrate my acceptance to Princeton. I had a lovely dinner and the conversation was scattered across the board. We talked about movies, books, reform theology, and hell. And from the discussion of hell we somehow ended up touching on the holiness of God. I got a little riled up (no surprise there) and spoke against the perfectionism that I had served for so long. The definition of holiness came out as “one who is set apart” and I thought how can God be set apart? As I write this I am thinking maybe it could be that God is set apart from all the little ‘g’ gods. But then a friend of mine said something about love. And a connection took place in my brain.
Could it be that a call to holiness is a call to love as God loves?
Could it be that holiness is to love perfectly?
What do you think?