Another fantastic chapter of “The Fitting Room” finished! Can I admit to you that chapter 3 was difficult for me? There are a lot of things about Christianity that confuse me, and quite frankly, the concept of holiness is at the top of the list. I feel like I had to read each of Kelly’s paragraphs three or four times to try to understand, and while it might be a strange thing, I kind of like when a book challenges me like that! There is still a lot I didn’t really grasp, but I trust that God was able to get the key pieces to sink in.
Kelly explains holiness as “being set apart” by God. Don’t you love that? Who doesn’t want to feel special and set apart from the crowd? I think so many times we try to set ourselves apart by our own actions, either at home or work, with friends and family, that we (or at least I) lose focus on who God truly made me to be, and how special that person really is. And you know why I try to do it on my own? Kelly hit it on the head when she wrote “It’s not easy to believe that God sees me as perfectly righteous in Christ, especially since I know my own downfalls, my past, and myself.” Amen. I’ve written before that I struggle with believing that God’s promises are truly for me, and Kelly just explained my struggle so perfectly. Interestingly, Jon Acuff wrote a post at Stuff Christians Like this week that touched on a very similar theme, that I think is worth reading (you can read it here).
But she also says this: Godliness does not begin with our righteousness, but with Jesus’. Because this act of imputed righteousness begins with Him, there is nothing we can do to mess it up.” (emphasis mine). Praise God! Why is it so easy to get it backwards, to think that a) I have to do specific things to be set apart by God, to earn what He so freely gives, and then b) to have the nerve to think there is some way I can mess up His plans! Lord, forgive me.
Kelly has a great quote in this chapter that has given me focus on how I want these virtues, and my holiness, to change my life – “A holy life will produce the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine.” (D.L. Moody). I want to be a lighthouse!
Seed: I stand pure before God, despite my past, because God has set me apart (it’s nothing I’ve done or can do)
Water: Accept God’s gift of holiness as the unconditional gift it is, and shine.
Grow: Be a lighthouse! Pray that I would develop a Godly confidence as I truly believe that I am set apart, and that I would be able to share it with others.