“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
Holy… what does it mean? When people hear the word “holy,” the first thing that comes to their minds is probably “unattainable,” or even “impossible.” And rightly so, in a lot of ways. I can remember when I was a little girl in church, and hearing so many people talk about living their lives without doing wrong- and of course to me, that seemed impossible…! How could I ever stop “protecting” myself when mama asked who took the cookies from the cookie jar, or bopping my sister on the nose when she did something I didn’t quite agree with..? No, no, holy living, how is that even possible? However, as I’ve grown older and grown in Christ, I can see how God is showing me the things that I can change with myself to reach that goal of holy living- and honestly, it’s not as difficult as it might seem.
But wait, what is holy living…?
To put it simply, read the verse I put above- “Be ye holy, for I am holy” In this verse, God is talking to us- He is telling us plain and simple- Be like Me.
But how can we possibly be like God? Um, He’s God.
Okay, yes, God is God. We can’t literally be God. But, what is God?
Easy and understandable attributes of God include loving, merciful, kind, gentle, forgiving- a lot of things we naturally are not. However, becoming holy is not as simple as these attributes of God- God is perfect. And to be like Him, we must be perfect. But, we being humans, perfection is not in our agenda (I’m sorry, it’s just not). Am I making sense? Probably not yet. Let me explain it to you by explaining how Joseph and I live our lives…
We are not by any means perfect in any way. We can’t be! However, we have felt from God different ways that we can become more like Him- in our actions and our attitudes, inside and outside the home. For those of you who don’t know me and Joseph, we are Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Christians, or, since that is quite a mouthful, Holiness Christians. Without going into an extreme amount of detail, we live our lives based on holiness unto the Lord, backing up our lifestyle with scriptures. And here’s a link to a better explanation of our denomination, for those of you who are more curious than others. 🙂
To start, Joseph and I try and live as simply and modestly as we can- though we enjoy the benefits of technology with our iPhones and our computers/tablets, we do not participate in the watching of television or movies. We also severely limit our reading material, and gaming material (which is getting cut back to nearly nothing). As for modesty, I dress myself in modest, feminine apparel (skirts/dresses) while Joseph makes sure to avoid anything immodest with his own clothing (thought he honestly doesn’t have as difficult of a time finding appropriate clothing to wear like I do lol). We also make sure to watch our language- we do not want anything filthy or distasteful coming out of our mouths, whether it be curse words, gossip, or anything that sounds similar to a curse word. We honor the sabbath day by refraining from purchasing anything on Sunday unless absolutely imperative, and we don’t participate in certain pastimes on Sunday either (anything sports/outdoorsy or rough play with children). We also choose not to wear our wedding bands either.
Yes I know, this seems like a long, boring list chock full of legality and rules- but what better way to try and live as holy as you can then by watching your every step ad setting rules and guidelines in your life? I’ve heard it said by several people throughout the last few years of my life, especially as God is directing us toward the more, er, weird “rules” we have in place (i.e. no television or movies, the strict dress, not participating in certain activities, etc.);
“Why in the world would you choose to live that way? God really won’t keep you out of heaven because you watched that movie, or wore that shirt.”
No, actually, I don’t believe that those things will actually keep me from making it to heaven. On the other hand, God has asked Joseph and I, through reading His word and diligent praying, to not participate in these things and to be careful with how we dress and what we say. We feel that to be the best Christians that we can be, we must live this way. Yes, it seems alien to many people. And it probably is weird, especially in the day and age we are living in. But I will say, I have never felt such a peace in my life as I do since I have chosen to walk this path of holiness. In many ways it is freeing to us- but honestly, that’s pretty difficult to explain. 🙂
Now, before someone might try and point out that I’ve only listed physical attributes of holiness (outward living), I must also add that holiness is not just a change in your everyday lifestyle or dress. It really does go beyond the outward appearance and the words you say; because let’s face it- we all know those people who profess to live one way but do not truly mean it. Who dress “the part” and “talk the talk” and live outwardly, but their heart is deceitful and dark. Yes, holiness is a heart issue even more than it is an outward issue. It must be in our heart and soul before it is even on the outside. But what does that mean? To me, it means having the desire for holiness imbedded in your heart. It means to have the sin nature in your soul rooted out and removed- to live daily, holy and as sinless as possible before God. Many people don’t understand this concept, or even believe in it to be honest. Sadly, many believe that you cannot escape the clutches of sin, and you must live daily in it- but I boldly say no. God can remove that nature, and give you a desire to live cleanly every day. Is every day easy? No, there are days when even I struggle and have to get back down on my knees and ask God to clean my slate and let me try again. But since I have decided to let go and let God do His work in my life every day, the struggles become less, and the walk becomes easier. And, holiness is even more attainable.
This post is in no way to try and convince or compel or convict anyone into trying to live the way that we choose to. It is simply an explanation to why we live this way, and our own definition of holiness as divinely given to us by God. A lot people simply don’t know who I really am, and have never understood why I dress and act the way I do. I’ve never had much of an opportunity to explain myself either- which is why I am choosing to write this post. And I’m still probably going to sound crazy- but I wanted to lay down the foundation of Joseph and I’s life before I really started getting into writing blogs on a regular basis and sharing our lives with everyone out there.
Now that that’s been covered- I’m back to brainstorming ideas on blog posts I can write..! And soon I might write one that elaborates on more specific things mentioned in this post (dressing modestly and/or media). Keep watch for my next one, which I will be writing about shortly and posting in hopefully a week or so. Eventually I’ll be on a schedule… 😮
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 NIV
Photo credit- myself 🙂