Read First Peter 1:13–25

If I were to ask you what does it mean to be holy, what might your answer be? Would it depend upon the definition that you find within your church denomination? Is it based on doing more good than bad?

Harper’s Bible Dictionary defines holiness as follows:

“Holiness, a turning Hebrew probably meaning separate from the ordinary or profane. Also in Hebrew and Greek 'holy' implies connection with God or the divine. Thus God is holy and people, things, and actions may be holy by association with God.”

When we look at this definition, we can see it is having the connection with God that makes us holy. We are called to be holy, therefore, we are called to be connected with God. This made up here to see an impossibility for some because of their own point of view of who they are and how unworthy they are to be in the presence of God. For others, people try to humanize the spiritualized power of God to make God appear to be more approachable, which takes away from God’s ability to be God because man tries to define God in human terms and not spiritual, thus negating his ability to be Holy.

In the scriptures provided, Peter gives the reader clear understanding on how we can be faithful to the calling of being holy. And this is not based on our own merits but it solely rests on the merits of one man named Jesus Christ. We are all to be set apart from the world and its mindset and we are called to follow through with what God calls us to do in this particular passage. This is one of those evidenced-based practices that stands throughout the test of time: if we do what this passage tells us, we can be assured of the same results which the people of that time were able to experience as a heard his preaching from Peter himself. And if the future generations are able to do what this passage says, they too will also have the same result as we will have today and put our hope and trust in God through Christ our Lord.

Yet there are those her to follow what Scripture tells us because, in their eyes, they see a lot of restrictions and a lot of sacrifices that is done on our interaction and people do not want to give up their “materialistic” mindset. What they do not realize is that the more that we become holy, the closer to God we get and we have a more fulfilled and prosperous life this side of heaven.

I am not saying or preaching prosperity here, I’m not talking about the gates of materialistic items. I am saying that there are many of us will go after riches, fame, power and other lust of the heart and mind and have always come up wanted more to try to fill the void that is within us. However, because of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord, our life is fulfilled and has purpose as we go beyond ourselves to reach out to the world around us to try to bring others into that holiness (connectedness with God).

Ask yourself this question as I implore you to take a good look at your life: if being holy is to be connected with God, how close or distant or close to God am I? If there is a distance, how can I close that gap between God and I? Equally as important, how can I help my loved ones to close the gap between themselves and God?

These questions will demand an answer and if the answer is that which you seek, then praise God. However, if the answer is one that I do not seek, that this is where we need to connect with God through Christ our Lord and try to shorten that gap by doing what the Holy Spirit leads us to do through Scriptures, through prayer, through fellowship within the church body, through meditation and through relationship.

One thing that we fail to understand as humans is that God longs to have an intimate relationship with each and every one of us because of his holiness. We also keep in mind that man’s concept of holiness vastly differs from that of God’s holiness and that we are to be more like His holiness versus trying to have God’s holiness be more like ours. We are indeed called to be holy; but that holiness needs to be the reflection of God’s holiness and not our own.

The Rev. John Boyanowski serves at Pleasant Lake United Methodist Church.

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