“Hypocrite”, “self-righteous”, and “holier-than-thou” can describe a religious phony. They’re also terms used as weapons to temper the zeal of someone genuinely striving to live right. In both the Old and New Testaments, God says for us to “Be Holy.” In Peter’s written instructions to the early church, he quotes Leviticus and says:
“…you also be holy in all your conduct.” – I Peter 1:15 NKJV
So, in a real-world kind of way, what does that phrase mean? Perfection? Error-free-living? Of course not. If it did, none of us would have any hope, and the gospel is built on hope! It simply means:
- Set-apart – not as a sideline critic of others, but one personally seeking to live to a higher standard
- Purposed – with goals set to honor Christ (“Whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not men.” – Col. 3:23)
- Trusting – Faith is trust. Our Father can be trusted…for real.
- Reflecting – we are to reflect Christ. The Fruits of the Spirit are wonderful qualities that show the love of Christ in a practical way to a world in darkness
Don’t let the fear of critics or the call of compromise temper your zeal today. Be holy. It’s not mandated perfection, but the posture of the graciously redeemed.