I remember back to my third and fourth year in medical school, I finally got to go into the hospital and play real doctor. I finally started to work on real live patients…taking histories, performing physical exams, formulating diagnoses, ordering tests, and caring for patients. I also really dressed the part with my white doctor lab coat, stethoscope, reflex hammer, bags under my eyes, and bed head. That’s why I got a crewcut.
Not just dressing, I was also 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 TV. 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 become 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 pretense 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. Developing discipline is a series of decisions, so the ball is in your court. Make Godly decisions, now and daily.
Dear Father, 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 the one who teaches me how to be holy, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – 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.