A Genuine Desire for Holiness

Reflections from the Edge of Death 3

As I’ve been reflecting on what a precious gift human life is, I have also been struck by the greatest desire in my life for holiness.

Even though I’ve been in ministry for 16 years, I’ve seen the call to purity as a burden. You see, holiness is godliness, and since I’m not God, I found God’s demand, “be holy because I am holy” (1 Pet 1:15-16) to be burdensome, calling me to be something other than human.

But I’ve come to realize that the very definition of being human is to be a genuine image-bearer of God.

"Genuine holiness is genuine Christ-likeness, and genuine Christ-likeness is genuine holiness—the only genuine humanness there is” (JI Packer, Rediscovering Holiness, p. 28).

Life is too short to goof around feeding and obsessing over addictive sin. There is too much joy to be found in submitting to the Holy Spirit.

I had somehow missed that fact that among the fruit of the Spirit is JOY!


Anonymous said...

I am so ashamed that I wasted my vote on george war bush. What was I thinking? Why did I let my right wing extremist, neo-conservative, neo-evangelical thinking get in the way of exercising sound personal judgment when I stepped into that voting booth? Growing up, I was led to believe that the republican party was a grass roots party of the people & for the people. In retrospect, it is clear that the last 3 presidents produced by the republican party were nothing more then the rich man’s rich man hiding under the disguise of the overly misused term, “conservative”. The economic dark ages of reagonomics fleeced the middle and lower classes of this county simply to benefit the rich and wealthy. George warmonger bush has quietly shifted this country back to those economic dark ages. Bush inherited a strong economy and squandered that real quick. And even though 9 -11 did happen, none of bush’s reckless decisions are in any way justified by that day in history. It is clear that he never had any real salient foreign & domestic policies when he became president in 2000. Now we have 4 more years of neoconservative republican lies and a growing body count overseas. When are people going to wake up to the truth that neoconservative political philosophy does not work for anyone but the rich and wealthy at the top? When are people in the USA going to wake up to the fact that neoconservative republican political philosophy does not even cross paths with reality?

Anyone who believes george war bush’s lies about promoting democracy in these middle eastern Islamic states is living in serious denial of reality. Those who believe bush’s lies are simply easy pickins and victims of logical fallacies. Historians and political scholars realize that to impose such changes on another country takes decades and that is only if it seriously adopted. Also, the very definition of democracy is not something that the United States has any claim of ownership. Even some communist states think that what they have is democracy. If we ever actually do get out of Iraq, nothing will have changed and nothing will have been gained. The American people have never been given a specific objective in Iraq or a clear definition of exactly what victory in Iraq is from the president. Invading Iraq never had anything to do with, WMD, freeing the Iraqi people or making Americans safer and secure. Statements about WMD, Freeing Iraq or Making America Safer are nothing more then a marketing spin used to hide the ugly truth and make the lies palatable to the American public and justifiable to the red necks who voted for him. Bush likes to make statements such as “It’s worth the price” but he never says just what exactly “it” is. If he really believes that, then he should put his money where his mouth is and send his little party animals to go fight in Iraq. The republican party claims to be for smaller less wasteful government but the current administration is responsible for the waste of more money, resources and human lives then any past democrat presidency. I have a hard time sleeping at night knowing that the blood of Americans and innocent civilians is on my hands and the hands of those who voted for george warmonger bush. The real legacy of the bush cabinet is going to be one characterized by lots of wrongful deaths, lots of money and resources wasted, unnecessary tax increases for our children and grandchildren and the unnecessary destruction of various social programs that good decent people count on.

Thanks to bush and his power hungry cabinet who all want to control congress, the senate & the supreme court, the USA is now a third world country with a disappearing middle class. Neoconservative agenda is to make the USA just like Mexico with the top 2% all rich and the rest of us poor. Now that I know that invading Iraq was all about oil and nothing more, all the senseless deaths of Americans and Iraqi civilians takes on a whole new meaning. It would appear that even the constitution means nothing to bush and his cronies. It has been reduced to something to be twisted and manipulated by neoconservative agenda to make the rich richer and screw over the rest of us. Now that the USA owes all these hundreds of millions of dollars to countries like China, Germany, Russia & Japan, I wonder which language I need to learn for the day when these countries come to collect.

Man…Nixon got impeached for things much less offensive then Bush & Cheney’s crimes against humanity and crimes against the US constitution. I will never make the mistake of voting republican again. Thanks for all the memories GOP

Bob Robinson said...

That had a whole lot to do with my post, now didn't it?

p.a.hiles said...

bob, what is the deal with these people?! do they not read the posts that we take the time to write? on a post about my favourite movies some guy left me a paragraph message about the stockmarket! as if i even bother with that!MAN!

joeldaniel said...

well, i personally have visited and revisted this post multiple times in the short time it's been on here. because it resonates with me deeply. and it reminds me of things i am forgetful about. and when i read, something clicks, and stars shine, and i have an a-ha moment, and the lightbulb goes on, and all those other foolish metaphors. so thanks.

Scot McKnight said...

Good reminder -- and I would add that holiness is pure love of God and others. I like to define holiness as "love directed purely in the right direction."

Good quotation from Packer.

Ted Gossard said...

Bob, Thanks for the good thought. Yes, holiness is a burden among so many Christians. But in getting at what you're saying along with Packer and Scot, it is really a blessing for us in Jesus. Though because of the downdrag of the world we live in and the fact we're not yet fully redeemed, it is still often a challenge for us, to be sure.