Posts Tagged ‘holiness’

Perfect Love

February 24, 2009

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?

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holiness and perfection

June 23, 2008

Something I have thought about a few times, though not in much depth, is what the difference is, if any, between holiness and perfection.  In these moments of reflection about this, I have wondered if we have become obsessed with perfectionism and have transferred those ideas to holiness in order to spiritualize our quest for perfectionism.  True God says, “He holy as I am holy,” but what does that mean exactly?  If it does mean to be perfect in all I say, do, and think, is that really atainable?  Sure we are new creations in Christ, but though redeemed, we are not yet fully separated from the consequences of the fall.  If that were the case, women believers would potentially have pleasant feeling child-birthing experiences as opposed to painful ones and so far as I know, that is not the case.  And thus I still battle with, and sometimes loose to, my flesh.  And sometimes I don’t even realize I have done something to offend God which is, in and of itself, a sin (i.e., not perfect).  So could holiness be better defined as living honestly in our relationship with God?  Or maybe having a heart after God’s own heart?  Or maybe walking humbly with God?

Photo by: Me! (c)