Now for my next post… I have been thinking and thinking about what it means to live a Holy life. The New Testament calls us to “be perfect, as I am perfect,” (Matthew 5:48), and so many of us have a hard time living up to that standard. We think of perfection in human terms, as in, never sinning anymore, being happy all the time, and having everything. But I am here to tell you that is not God’s definition of perfection. We cannot be perfect (Holy) as God is Holy, but we can reach Holiness in this life. If it was an unattainable goal that we just attempt to live up to, then why do it at all?
Just as I pointed out in the blog post yesterday, Jesus tells us the two greatest commandments are to love God and love others. As I have been reading in the book, The Story of God, by Michael Lodahl, he points out that the great theologian John Wesley was essentially saying “the holiness of loving God with our whole beings and loving our neighbors as ourselves. It is a perfection “in love” that dealt not with abstract or legalistic ideas of absolute perfection, but with the relative perfection of relations to God and neighbors “perfected” by love,” (26).
So, can we be perfect and Holy in the way Wesley points out? I believe so. Does that make it easy, uncomplicated, or something that happens overnight? No. It takes each and every day, pointedly calling on the Lord’s power, through the Holy Spirit, to reach to the inmost parts of our being and changing us from within. This is the transformational work of the Spirit that God has given to us on this earth to love Him and love others. This kind of love seeks to reconcile all hurts, absorb all pain, and live in community with those we might not necessarily like, but seek to love and support them in their Holiness journey.
Let us seek to include those we disagree with, love those who seem unlovable, and protect those weaker than ourselves so that we too, can live the glorious calling of our Lord Jesus Christ to take the Gospel to the entire world.
How do you show love to those you do not like? Who have hurt you beyond reason?