I remember in medical school, in our third and fourth year we got to go into the hospital and start to work on real live patients…taking histories, doing physical exams, formulating diagnoses, ordering tests, and caring for patients. We really dressed the part with our white doctor coats, stethoscopes, and sleepless looks on our faces with bed head. We also were taught how to act on the outside…take a history, respond with respect and professionalism, speak to nurses and other healthcare personnel, and speak the medical lingo you hear on ER. None of this made me a doctor on the inside though, and I always felt uneasy and insecure until I really developed the mind and expertise of a doctor. Peace came when my internal state determined my external actions, not when my external façade tried to cover up my internal inadequacies. When we became a Christian, God placed the Holy Spirit in us…in doing so He has equipped us to be holy. There is a vast difference between being holy and trying to appear holy. Trying to appear holy without submitting to the Holy Spirit is truly a form of hypocrisy. The bible teaches us that God reserved some of his strongest condemnation for those who paraded their pretension of holiness whenever they had an audience. Holiness can only happen when we are letting God live through us.
Today, make it a discipline, yes discipline (I love that word -training to ensure proper behavior, make yourself do something regularly, process by which one is discipled). One way to exercise this discipline is to pause before we respond to others in all situations, giving the Holy Spirit time and space to act through us.
Being holy is something I strive for, but the goal seems so illusive. It is illusive because I am in constant danger of falling prey to serious sin; especially pride and hypocrisy. I want to be holy because Your word gives me this very clear instruction. Help me understand that holiness really is letting You live through me. I pray Lord for the patience to pause before I respond to others so that Your Holy Spirit may take charge and give me the response that lets other see that You live through me. I pray in the holy name of Jesus – AMEN!
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.”
1 Peter 1:15-16
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.