Less Unholy ≠ Holy
In a world with an ever prevailing force of sin, vulgarity, immodesty and all out wretchedness, it would seem as though the bar of holiness would natural-ly lower. While this is perhaps a true statement according to the arrogant heart of man, it is false before God. God is holy, sanctified, set apart. God is love in a hateful and selfish world. God is peace in a violent and jealous society. God is light in a world of darkness. God is purity in the midst of a perverse generation. Let us not be fooled by the great lie that less unholy = holiness, but instead let us be reminded that our standard of measure is the perfect Son of God, and not the sons of the devil that surround us daily.
First, be reminded that the way to heaven is not paved with transgression, but rather enduring obedience to God. Jesus stated in Matthew 7:14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” This is directly contrasted to the wide gate and broad way that leads to destruction. Often we naively or foolishly measure our holiness against a dark and sinful world. It may not seem like you have to be very holy at all when comparing yourself to that darkness, however, when you compare yourself against the Light that will illumine heaven for eternity (Jesus – Rev. 21:23) you will see just how dim you truly are.
Second, be reminded that God defines sin and holiness much different than man does. If you were to ask someone off the street what evil was, they would probably rattle off things like terrorism, murder, rape, stealing, etc. But in Romans 1:29-31 God lists things such as greed, strife, gossip, arrogance, disobedience to parents, untrustworthy, unmerciful, and unloving as things worthy of death! Some of these things are what people love and ad-mire in icons and idols of our day. Jesus dealt with this same attitude in Matthew 5 at the Sermon on the Mount where He was critical of the Jews for thinking they were holy because they kept the letter of the law, but re-ally their hearts condemned them because of the unrighteousness that filled them. If we are holy, if we are a Christian, than let us truly be like Christ. Let us look to Him in faithfulness (Hebrews 12:2) and walk in His footsteps (I John 2:6).
Third, be reminded that our holiness is to the glory of God. In other words, if our actions, our words, or even our thoughts are truly holy, then a passerby who saw or heard them should have cause to give glory to God. If there is no reason for your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, or even strangers to give glory to God because of your speech, action, habits, hobbies, and behavior, then you are not holy. If you blend into the world around you then you are not holy. If you cannot be seen by the darkness, then you are a part of the darkness because your light is not shining forth. “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior, because it is written, ‘You shall be holy for I am holy.’” (I Peter. 1:14-16)
Christ died so that we might be presented as holy, so let us live to honor our Savior. This is not done by asking ourselves, “How unholy can I be and still be holy?” It is done by asking of the Lord each day, “Lord, please make me perfect as Thou art. Guide me to seek Ye first in all things, and throughout the day may I hear Your words… and be obedient to them” (Matthew 5:48; 6:33; 7:24). Being “less” unholy than the world does not make me holy, being holy makes me holy. Let us be holy to the Lord.