Holiness + Love

by | Jun 4, 2024 | Vital Men Devotions

Holiness + LoveThe words holiness and love have become pretty hollow words today. For most of us, they certainly haven’t kept their biblical meanings. I hate to admit it, but when I hear the word “holy” I imagine a very stern finger being pointed in my direction. For most of my life, holiness meant following a set of stringent rules and regulations, some of which are very Biblical and others of which are…not so much. To be holy meant to very strictly follow each of these rules, and to not follow them to the letter was to be awash in sin. Love, too often, has also taken on extra-Biblical meanings. When I think of a gesture that signifies love, I am too often reminded of a shrug of the shoulders. I often hear loved used in phrases like: yes, he hits me, but I love him. Yes, they get drunk every night, but I love them. Yes, the Bible says that’s wrong, but you’ve just got to love them anyway. In each of these cases, love takes on the meaning of letting things slide. I would argue, however, that we’ve missed the mark when it comes to holiness and love. Holiness + love should always equal transformation. Holiness + love should mean that we live better lives, and that our better lives have a transformative impact on others. 

Lets look at an example of what the Bible says about holiness + love. 

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. 1 Peter 1:13-16, 22-23

Holiness + LoveThe first thing we need to understand is that we live holy lives not because an angry finger was pointed at us, but because of the love of Christ Jesus. We strive for holiness because the holiness of Christ Jesus transformed us. I was WAY too old in life when I started seeing things this way. Holiness is not something we need to do, its a lifestyle we should want live out of our gratitude for the love and grace of Christ Jesus. We also should understand that holy lives are not just about us, but about transforming others. See, holiness + love should result in transformation in the lives of others. When we follow Jesus we should be actively making other people better. It’s not about giving a shrug, but about helping people improve their lives. We should be focused neither on giving the accusing finger or the resigned shrug, but instead focused on how our holiness + love can fully transform lives. 

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