Carrie's Relationship Tips
Is Holiness Important Anymore?
We live in a somewhat "casual" spiritual environment. Yet we have a profound truth to reconcile: God is holy, and He expects us to be holy!
Isaiah 6:3 says, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory."
God, the creator of the universe, is unlike any created being. He alone is holy. God's holiness is perfect freedom from evil. And yet, I Peter 1:15-16 says, "But just as He who called you is Holy so be holy in all you do; for it is written 'Be holy because I am Holy.' Holy means sacred, being set apart and includes the idea of a whole, integrated self. Living with sexual integrity requires living outside in and inside out with beliefs and behavior that match. Therefore, sexual integrity requires holiness.
I Thess. 4:3-4 says, "It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable..."
Holy is used more than 600 times in Scripture! Personal holiness can only happen through the saving work of Jesus Christ and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. Being "set apart" is how this process begins, and this is the key to living with sexual integrity. So, let's bring this truth home to the next generation.
- Model and teach what it means to be set apart. If someone is set apart, you can tell. World-class athletes make private decisions that are publicly noticeable. They are disciplined about how they eat and sleep. They practice longer and harder than others, and they don't get off track by temptation. Their behavior matches their beliefs about what is important to them, and this integration results in success.
- Teach students there are things that are sacred and holy, so they understand not everything is at the same level. Although we live in a casual age, we are undoing the concept of holiness when our actions, speech, dress and approach to God looks the same as the world around us. The King of the Universe is holy and speaking to Him or about Him casually often "nets" a casual commitment to Christ.
- When was the last time you felt "undone" in the presence of the most high? How about falling on your face in holy fear? For most of us, it's probably been awhile. We need to elevate what is holy, so the next generation will believe there are sacred things to cherish, including life at all stages, loving others and even the one flesh union! If nothing is sacred, then nothing is valued or protected.
More practical application on holiness:
- Have students pray the Lord's Prayer. It begins, "Our Father, who art in heaven, Holy is your name." I have been praying this prayer daily lately, and it is making a difference!
- When you read Scripture, have young men take off their hats. Then experiment by having students stand for the reading of the inspired, holy, infallible word of God (just like they did when Ezra read the Law in Nehemiah 8).
- Speak respectfully of spiritual leaders and pastors to model reverence for that vocation.
- Approach any spiritual setting or event with dignity and reverent expectation.
- Many schools require students to dress up on chapel day, and I applaud these schools. What we do "in the body" affects how we think. How are we dressing for church on Sunday? Sunday represents the most holy day of the week, a person's clothing affects them - what they receive and perceive of the Holy Spirit.
- Create special times of reflection for your students that feel and seem different than daily life. Quiet time, journal time, prayer and reflection time. Retreats are very powerful, as you know. Even a one-hour retreat can be very effective....let your students be creative in helping you plan these moments.
May the Lord bless you as you attempt to magnify is Holy name!