Authenticity matters, but so does holiness. I want to be authentic and I want to lock arms with your “me too,” but even in world where we celebrate transparency, God continually calls us to holiness.
I can be so transparent, I’m clear, but you don’t always need to see it.
Spittle collected in the corners of her mouth which she dabbed with a ragged tissue. The finely sharpened number 2 pencil in her shaky hand feathered the music sheet in front of us. Ma Gilbert was my piano teacher for seven years. She taught me scales and encouraged me to practice every day. I learned treble, base, F-A-C-E and E-G something or other. Okay, maybe I didn’t learn it; the truth is, basically I’m musically illiterate. Despite hours of instruction, I can’t play more than the first nine notes of “For Eloise.” Bet you won’t get that out of your head the rest of the day.
Psalm 15:2, “The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges truth in his heart.” HCSB
Practice is the key
Oh, practice? Well I suppose that was the problem. I didn’t practice so I forgot most of what the ancient teacher longed to instill in my mind forever. But I was a child and discipline came later.
The ball shanked when I struck it with hozzle. In my head I heard my golf instructor’s voice: weight on your right big toe, loosen your grip, keep your shoulders level, finish high, keep your head down, and don’t over swing. I took YEARS of golf lessons and some days you can’t tell I ever picked up a club. Seems I can’t get out there and play consistently enough and old habits creep back in despite my heart’s desire to see my coach’s radiant smile of satisfaction. Even though I hear her words, I don’t put them into practice.
James 1:22, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what is says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourself.” NLT
The truth is I’ve been fooling myself for a long time. Maybe you have too. I’m called to write, speak and teach. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not. The window to my soul is open and I invite you to peek inside. Sometimes you see a shining light and other times there is filth. But what about holiness?
1 Peter 1:16, “Since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” ESV
Practice holinessAuthenticity is important, but so is holiness #Holiness Click To Tweet
The first time I heard a mature believer claim God called her to holiness, I cringed. Actually I think I choked on my tongue and made a rude snort. Seriously, holiness? Like I’m over here just trying not to act like the devil and you’re trying be holy? I nearly ducked under the table and crawled out of the room. But the fact is, we are all called to be Christ-like. Knowing the word doesn’t equal doing the word. We can read our Bibles, memorize scripture and get the perfect attendance record at church and live unholy lives. I’ll confess, I’m an expert on this, except of course the perfect attendance thing. Claiming to be a follower of Christ and living like the world should drive us to our knees to confess our sins – not for the sake of transparency, but for the sake of repentance.
1 John 2:29, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” NKJV
Are you practicing righteousness? I’m not, but I’m convicted to take holiness seriously and make some changes. Problem is, I try and I can’t The truth is none of us have the ability to carry out the call to holiness; that’s the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet, we are to practice righteousness, so I’m asking God to fill me and He said I have to be empty first. Please be patient with me while I submit to some whittling of the riff-raff in my soul. Because I don’t want my walk with God to stay like my golf game, or worse yet my musical talent.
2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” NIV
Are you listening to the call? What are you going to do about it?When children of God ignore His word, they have forgotten who they are #CalledtoHoliness Click To Tweet
James 1:23-24, “Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” MSG