Imagine a life where words like “salvation,” “grace,” and “mercy” became part of your daily conversations. A life so transformed that these words become your comfort, as instinctive as saying, “Thank you.” This was my experience when I entered a relationship with Jesus. It felt as if I had embarked on this beautiful spiritual journey where God did all the heavy lifting. But, like many, I wasn’t prepared for the call to holiness.
For me, the word “holiness” conjured images of judgmental elders sitting in church pews, evaluating my every move. It seemed alien, intimidating, and frankly, not something I was eager to pursue. After all, how many of us wish to be seen as the “holier-than-thou” Christian? The very notion of holiness can sometimes sound as if we’re expected to trade in our unique personalities and interests in favor of a generic, spiritual mold.
But, what if we’ve misunderstood holiness?
Many Christians, myself included, often grapple with embracing holiness without losing our authenticity. The modern Church sometimes paints holiness with broad strokes, seemingly placing believers in a one-size-fits-all spiritual box. We’re told to abandon our passions, like hip-hop or our career dreams, in the name of holiness. This, often unintentionally, results in a faith community overwhelmed by actions and missing the heart’s intent.
The true essence of holiness, however, is far from these misconceptions. In the New Testament, the Greek term for “holy” is “hagioi,” which translates to “sanctify” or “set apart.” Holiness, therefore, isn’t about following a strict set of rules. It’s about being set apart, reflecting God’s character, His image.
God’s intention from the very start was for us to mirror His image. However, the fall of man distorted this beautiful design. Our path to holiness, thus, becomes a journey to rediscover and manifest God’s Spirit within us. This journey might ask us to shed certain habits or make changes, but it never strips us of our core identity. Instead, it refines us.
In this renewed understanding, the hip-hop enthusiast can channel his passion to inspire and reach others, much like the artist Lecrae. The ambitious young woman learns to synchronize her dreams with the voice of the Holy Spirit. Holiness, far from stifling our dreams, can amplify them to reflect heaven on earth.
To embrace holiness is to let our lives shine, reflecting God’s character, bringing His light into a world shrouded in darkness. Like diamonds, each one of us may have our flaws, but as we undergo refining, we become brilliant reflections of our Creator.
Remember, the call to holiness isn’t a sprint toward perfection; it’s a marathon of continuous growth and transformation.