When you hear the word holy, what do you think of? Maybe you see a picture of Jesus being lifted into the clouds? Maybe you hear a choir singing? Or perhaps you just think of white, the white that washed away our sin on the cross of Calvary?
Now, don’t get me wrong, that is awesome. It’s the ultimate demonstration of holiness, the reason our lives have meaning right now in Christ. But I’m going to be that guy and take a slightly different approach.
The word holy, in the Old Testament, comes from the Greek word qodesh, which means to be sacred, or set apart. When the Bible talks about God being holy, it’s not only speaking about God being pure or perfect, it’s talking about how God is set apart, how He’s different from us and this world.
Leviticus 19:2 says, “Be Holy for I am Holy.” (NIV) This means that we, too, are called to be different, to be set apart.
Imagine you walk into a small, dusty town. It’s not empty, but you can see that it’s in dire need of a new paint job. To be honest, it’s a mess physically, too. You walk around for a bit and gather in your surroundings. A few doors hang off their hinges and you can’t see through the mucky windows, but you’re sure the houses are just as run down on the inside as they are out. You’ll be staying here from now on; it’s your new home. You’ve been sent to re-build the town into something new, but you’re not worried. You have everything you need, you know exactly what you’re doing and, besides, you have a guide with you for every situation possible. This place is going to be the talk of the country. You have big plans – the future is here! But then your enthusiasm starts to fade…you slump into your office day after day, and soon enough, ten years have passed. Nothing. 20 years, nope. 50 years, nothing at all.
Eventually, you die. The world is no better place than it was before. You made no difference. You were just a slacker.
How often do we, as Christians, fall into the trap of becoming a slacker? Of knowing someone isn’t saved, but not praying for the opportunity to witness, or perhaps not even looking for the opportunity!
We are sent with our purpose. It’s clear. We walk through our mission field: our friends and family. We know what to do. And I challenge you to do it: to be different, to be holy.