“For it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:16 (NIV)
A year or two ago I went to a conference, and the speaker was Sarah Mally. She told us that in her house her family has one very small room, and in that room there is an even smaller room. The smaller room holds a special box, and in that box there are strips of tape. The tape is cut in very specific shapes and lengths, and can only be used for one purpose. Each strip of tape is individually wrapped in paper to protect it. Any guesses what this tape was?
A bandaid! 🙂
Sarah then went on the explain that bandaids are a little like holiness. God has called us to be holy. To be set apart for Him, just like the bandaid is set apart for one specific purpose.
“Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’”
2 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV)
The thing about bandaids is that they become useless if they are used for anything else. If you get a bandaid dirty you can’t then put it on a cut or wound because it would risk infection. You have to keep it clean. This is similar to us. God has called us to be holy, clean, set apart, and pure. If we let sin into our lives, if we mix with the world, we become polluted and can’t be used for what we were created to do. Unlike bandaids, we can be cleaned because of what Jesus has done for us, but we must seek to be set apart, to be holy.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15 (NIV)
So what does it mean to be set apart from the world? It means choosing to do things differently than the way the world and our culture around us do things. It means to guard against ways that the enemy tries to tempt us in or lie to us through, whether it’s books, movies, relationships, the way we dress, our attitudes, or more. Paul says in one of his letters that in Christ we have freedom to do all things, but not everything is beneficial. Holiness is choosing not to compromise…to be as pure for God as we can. It’s not about a list of rules or seeing how close to the line of sin we can get without crossing it, but how we can do our best to please God for His glory.
Your sister in Christ,