Being Holy

Mention the word “holy” and you might find many people look at you kind of strangely. To many, the word holy has negative connotations. If someone talks about being holy it is often interpreted by others as a statement of superiority. A “holier than thou” attitude is often perceived by the listener, who then feels judged and diminished.

This interpretation of holiness is miles away from God’s view of the word. To God, being holy speaks of being separate from evil, being set apart for a good purpose, being devoted to Him and His ways. Just like God Himself! God describes Himself as being holy and it is also something He desires for us. Take Leviticus 20:26 (NIV) for example:

"You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own."

So what does being holy to God look like for us mere mortals?

I think the first commandment in the Old Testament sums it up quite nicely. Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV) says: 

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

The New Testament explains what it means to express this love for God in practice as we are exhorted to offer our lives in obedience to God. Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) says:

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will."

When we choose to offer our lives as devoted to God, we become holy to Him, set apart for His good purpose, namely, to be transformed into His image and likeness. That is God’s will for each one of us, it’s good, it’s pleasing and it’s perfect.

Now that’s a holiness worth aspiring to!

Yours in Christ,



Peter Rogers

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