I was deeply encouraged by the feedback and encouragement from others for my last post on October 17, 2012 titled “ALL things work together for good”. Thank you for your love, prayer and support through this transition period!
I actually typed a few pages for this blog, but decided to simplify this to a simple thought on the topic of holiness. If you want to explore the topic of holiness with me, you can listen to my sermon at Living Stones Christian Church, my former church’s website, and look for “Hope & Holiness” on 9/9/2012.
During my own times of study and prayer, I came across an entry in the Charles Ringma book titled, “Seek the Silences with Thomas Merton.” It was regarding holiness. Essentially what Ringma points out is that people tend to be people at extremes in their pursuit of a holy life. These extremes can be seen as those that are very “holy” but not very outward focused in their love, to the very outward focused in their love, but that have very little inward focus towards their Savior. Then there are other textures such as those that are greedy, or falsely spiritual, to those that are empty shells merely teaching theological truths but that feel no passion for what they teach. Ultimately, we are creatures of extremes and it is often assumed that a life of holiness is a life that is either bound in intimacy with God and for others tied to their spiritual ministry.
“Does holiness equate to intimacy with God or with spiritual ministry? Can one be a businessperson or a politician and still be holy? Is one holy because one is a priest or monk? Has holiness to do with one’s being or one’s actions or both?”
What Merton says about holiness is this:
“sanctity is not a matter of being less human, but more human… this implies a greater capacity for concern, for suffering, for understanding…and also for humor, for joy” (Ringma, 23).
Holiness is this then:
“God’s grace operating in our lives” (Ringma, 23).
It draw us closer to God and turns our attention to the world. Holiness then is living the will of God by the power and grace of God. This life is not one of prideful, self-holiness awareness, but one of great humility and enjoyment of life as much as it is a life that seeks to be holy. It truly does reflect this focus on God and yet this connection to the world; a balance of being and doing. I find this balance then to be a better and healthier picture of holiness in Christ lived out by the saints, and seems to be confirmed in how Christ lived out his life too. My hope and blessing is that you may continue to grow and model your life towards this wholesome holiness in Christ as well!