… For it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”– 1 Peter 1:16
What, exactly is holiness? I have been thinking about holiness this Holy Week.
I used to think that holiness meant perfection. God is perfect; God is holy, therefore it makes sense that holiness is perfection. I can’t be perfect, therefore I cannot be holy. As it turns out, I was not thinking about holiness correctly.
When I look up the definition of “holy“, I see that it means “set apart“, but is that “set apart” in a good way or in a “holier-than-thou” kind of way? To be holy means to be sacred, special, distinct, but it’s not an invitation to vanity. It’s an intimidating directive.
How can we live a holy life?
A holy life can be lived by imitating, in our own, flawed, human way, God’s light and love.
We can be holy in our relationships with others. We can be a faithful friend and spouse; we can treat those with less money, status, and power with respect and kindness. Holiness can even manifest itself by treating animals with care and compassion.
We can be holy through ethical behavior. Our honesty, truthfulness and good moral character emulate the Divine. We can be the person who refuses to gossip, who can be trusted to tell the truth. Holiness can be shown by adhering to our principles and doing what we know to be the right actions.
We can sanctify time by living our life to the fullest, appreciating the moments we are given, and imbuing our days with a sense of joy and thankfulness.
Holiness can be achieved by adopting a humble attitude. Being holy should not fuel hubris. Being tolerant, rather than judgemental and peaceful, rather than argumentive is a path to holiness.
Finally, showing tenderness is a way to be holy. Welcoming everyone, as Christ did, allows us to live a holy life. To love and protect the very weakest members of our human family – the poor, the very young, those with little social capital, who can do nothing for us in return is God’s reflected holiness.
I can’t t tell you that I live a life of holiness; I argue when I should ask for forgiveness, I am self-righteous when I should be humble, I am brusque when I should be tender. My human frailties are all too evident. When I get my “self” out of the way and allow God’s luminescence to shine through me, then I am at my holiest.
That is my goal for this Holy Week and beyond; to let God’s holy light shine through my cracked and splintered vessel into a world that is desperate for illumination.
*It is my plan to document the arrival of spring here in this corner of Southeastern Pennsylvania through the progression of blooming flowers. This is the eighth picture in the series. The flowers pictured above are Daffodils (Narcissus). They grow in front of my house. I bought these double daffodil bulbs in the bargain bin last fall and had no idea what I was planting. I hit the jackpot with these beauties.
I am linking with Cee’s FOTD Challenge, Welcome Heart for Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring with Him for Recharge Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Reflections From Me for A Blogging Good Time, Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, Rachel Marie Lee, Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Lyli Dunbar for Faith on Fire, and Worth Beyond Rubies.
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