Have you wondered how you can be holy and still engage with the people in your life who are living ungodly lifestyles?
What in the world does it really mean to “be holy?”
Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.
To be holy does indeed mean to be set apart from. God directs us to be holy because He wants the people around us to notice that we are distinctly different. That means our speech, our habits, our choices, our priorities and our goals will appear odd and out of step with the rest of the world. Being set apart from will invoke some awkwardness, some discomfort.
But if I focus on being set apart from I could easily develop a disdain for the world. When I set myself apart, I am prone to develop an unholy pride and contempt for the people who are not walking on the same path as me.
God says that He has set me apart. I don’t need to set myself apart from. When I enter into a relationship with my Creator through His Son, Jesus Christ, I am set apart by God…and to God.
Instead of focusing on being set apart from, it is best for me to focus on being set apart to. Because I am set apart to God, I am holy. And the more I focus on being set apart to God, the more I will invest in my relationship with Him…and become more like Him. As I spend time with God I become more loving, more gracious, more merciful, more just, more giving, more godly. Because God is holy, I become more holy as I spend time with Him, get to know Him through His Word and, perhaps most importantly, obey Him. When I conform my life to His character and commands I become holy. And yes, I become more and more different from the world around me. But I am less prone to become prideful, disengaged and unloving toward the world.
When I focus on being set apart from the world I develop a disdain for the world. When I focus on being set apart to God I develop His character and His heart for the world.
It’s time for summer shorts. No, not just the kind you hesitate to put on your body at the beginning of the hot months! It’s time for short blog posts. This summer I’m promising you short, simple posts that still have some substance. I hope you’ll join me for these sweet days of summer.