1 Peter 1:16
This holiness discussion has brought about some really meaningful conversations this past week. I've had them online, over coffee, in bed (with my wife), and on the street. One specific comment sticks out in my mind. It was something like this: "If I am supposed to be like God and forgive people and not be bitter, than I am far from being holy."
An honest, authentic, broken, and totally true statement.
If we want to be holy as God is holy, we must deal with our unforgiveness and unreconciled relationships, we must confess and surrender our personal injustices and the litany of betrayals and pains that we have stored up in our hearts. These wounds need to be healed. If we don't find freedom and healing for any and every unfair, cruel, malicious, rude, ignorant, (small or grandiose) negative action or word put upon us, we will truly find ourselves suffering and not maturing in Christ-likeness or holiness. In some cases the present tension/anger/bitterness in our life can be fueled by unhealthy issues from our past or family of origin. The past can eat at us like a cancer darkening our already bruised identity in the present. And it will prevent us from being holy, yes.
If you have these hurts from the past (like I did) being Holy doesn't mean ignoring them and acting as if you aren't hurt. Being holy is finding help, confessing the issues, as seeking peace at all costs with power of God's grace and the prayer and support of God's people. It's good and OK to be angry for the past. We need to grieve everything from the rapes to the lay offs and we must do it in God's design: Holy and Humbly.
There is no easy answer here, I know. There really is no 1,2,3 formula or time frame for Humble Holiness. All I know is that it's a requirement. No matter how long it takes or what is costs you to make amends with the people in your life. We need to forgive.
And all I know is that I must strive after it, too, because present issues often resemble past pains.
Jesus taught us to pray for forgiveness and right after that to pray that we would forgive those who have sinned against us, too. Matthew 6. Maybe the issues we need to be concerned about is our salvation rather than our holiness. We will forever be in the process of being made holy according to Hebrews 10:14, and this has to do with maturity in Christ. Maybe what we ought to be concerning ourselves with is the issue of salvation regarding unforgiveness.
Because if we have truly received God's unbelievable gift of grace for our deep and dark sins, how can we then tightly hold onto someone else and refuse to forgive him/her.
He who has been forgiven little, loves little. Luke 7.
That's something to chew on.
For more reading: Mathew 18: 23-35
THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE:
Do not use the Lord's name in Vain. What does that truly mean for us today?
After Sunday at 6: Game on! ESCAPE FROM NY PIZZA and GAMES. Catch phrase, cranium, Pop 5. All at our new hang out location!
February 1st-One week away is the Shane & Shane Concert. If you have already RSVPd, great we have already purchased your tickets. Bring your $12 and meet at PCC 6:30pm next Thursday. If you want to go but haven't bought your tickets you'll have to order them on your own. Let me know if you need more info.
Saturday February 3rd: PLEASE RSVP for Bocce ball on the Evite! It's gonna be great because we are hanging out with the 50plus ministry, too! Another point of connecting and being intentional to be inter-generational. 12-3pm in Los Gatos. $20.