Monday, 22 February 2016

What's the difference between being good and being holy?

At heart, I think we all want to be 'good'. 

I know I get a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I do something wrong, or even when I don't do something I ought to. Even when I have thoughts about the past or my mind wanders, I can feel a bit 'yuck'. 

I want to be good. I want to do the right things. 
I have an internal sense, I KNOW when I am doing some thing that is not quite right. It seems that there's a sense of right and wrong built within us. We have an internal gauge of what is good. 

So, what about being holy? 
What's that about? Holy seems like a word that we cannot relate to. It's better than good! It's almost like it means being super-unachieveably-peter perfect-good. This doesn't come naturally, we don't have an internal holiness gauge. This is something we need to learn, it's not a natural part of us.

How then do we learn to be holy?

One tip; If you want to be holy, then read the Bible:

1Peter 1:14-16
'As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”'

Once you've become a child of God by accepting Jesus, you're on your way to being holy.  The 'the passions of your former ignorance' Are not to define you anymore. They are who you were, not who you are. You do not have to live with them or by them. 
The instruction here is 'be holy in all your conduct'. That's a BIG task! In all of it? I've been on this Christian journey for over 20years now and I know I'm not holy in all my conduct. I might be 'good' in some of it, but not holy! 

The same passage in The Message version says:
'So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”'

I like this;
'roll up your sleeves' - get ready for some hard work, for some instruction on what to work on.
'Put your mind in gear' - make the decision. Are you going to be holy or not? 
'Ready to receive' - aiming to be holy isn't just about hard work, effort, or our power to change. There's a gift. The Holy Spirit strengthens us to change, he helps and guides us in our pursuit of holiness. Trying to be holy is not without merit. It will bring a greater peace and joy to our lives as we figure out what truly matters.
'Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves' - Don't be lazy - a common reason not to change can be that it takes too much effort. Anything worth having does. 
'let yourselves..' - allow change to happen, don't resist what God is doing in your life.

Do these things and you will have a, 'life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness' - I want that, do you? 

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