Being Holy: The Impossible Dream?

"Nobody's perfect!" comes the cry of the masses. And we all know just how true that is. Even if we didn't tend to take frequent critical looks at others, an honest look at ourselves would soon reveal the painfully, yet truthful, tale. Nobody is perfect.

Facing this painful truth can led to discouragement and even to thoughts of throwing in the "holiness" towel and resigning ourselves to mediocrity. Perhaps that was why Paul adds this note to his letter to the Thessalonian church: "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" —1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV.

This little book is dotted with tidbits about holy living and it's easy to forget in the midst of the instructions to be holy that such a project isn't fueled by our own efforts. A car without gas doesn't go far. In the spiritual realm, the fuel that provides the impetus for us to keep going in our pursuit of holiness even though we have mishaps along the way, comes from another source. Paul alludes to this a little earlier in the book when he says: "May he [God] strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with his holy ones" —1 Thessalonians 3:13, NIV.

We have to remember that holiness is a process that won't be completed until eternity begins. Holiness is a project that we keep working at with that strength "to will and to do" (Philippians 2:12-14, KJV) that only God can supply. But the good news is that the end is guaranteed. I Thessalonians 5:24 (NIV) wraps up the package nicely by saying: "The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."

In those moments of failure, when we wonder if it's worth it to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and start all over again,* the reminders found in Paul's little letter to the church in Thessalonica are balm to the wounded soul. God will do it.

*PICK YOURSELF UP
From the film: Swing Time 1936
Lyrics by: Dorothy Fields/Music by: Jerome Kern

Comments

  1. Powerful reminder of where our power must come from. Thanks, Lynda

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