Being holy may seem daunting. We conjure up all of the commands in Scripture and wonder how is it possible to live holy? But it is.
1 Peter 1:15-16
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (NIV)
Holiness has been severely misunderstood. Most people see holiness as doing everything right according to the eyes of God. But holiness is more than a behavior. Holiness is not present without a heart of love. In fact, it is the heart of love that produces holiness.
When the teachers of the law asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment, He instead summed up all the commandments in terms of love. He said we are to love God with all of our mind, body, soul, and spirit and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. The religious teachers asked for clarification, “Who is my neighbor?” This is when Jesus teaches the parable of the Good Samaritan helping us to see that our neighbors include those who do not treat us well. They may even be our enemy.
The Good Samaritan doesn’t worry about how he has been treated but does what is best for the other. Love is doing what is best for others all the time. When our desire is to do what is best for everyone else, holiness will become our lifestyle.
This kind of love comes only from God. He is holy. Everything He does is what is best for mankind to find Him. He knows for man to find Him and commune with Him provides for the best life now and eternal life later. Everything God allows and disallows in your life is what we need to keep our eyes on Him. But Scripture teaches us that it is out of His great love that He does these things. Holiness is the behavior born out of a heart of love.
Sin is that behavior that moves a person to put themselves first which means valuing others as less than. Out of selfishness, we go after what we believe will make our life better but in our selfishness, we do not love others as ourselves.
I would recommend not trying to do everything right. This will be an impossible task. Instead, to become holy, do all you can to put others first and do what is best for them first. This doesn’t mean doing what they want because sometimes what people want from us would not be good for them. Two days ago, I wanted chocolate cake but it wasn’t good for me. Do what is best for others and holiness will manifest in you.
Prayer: Lord, help me to put others before myself that I might honor You in holiness. Amen.