For four years I was an Assemblies of God minister and a monk with the Brothers and Sisters of Charity at the Little Portion Hermitage. This is an excerpt from an unpublished book I’ve written called Talking Off My Comfortable Clothes, from the chapter on Holiness.
As I was sitting in a Starbucks going over this chapter, I kept thinking, “What is it I want to say to my readers?” Here are my final thoughts on Holiness.
- Be real with who you are. Accept and embrace your gifts and talents as well as your sins and limitations.
- Beware of succumbing to someone’s personal (or organizational) standards for holiness, especially if they have no Scriptural basis.
- Find people in your life that will hold you accountable for living a holy life — a life sacred to God and separate from the standards of the world — but who will also encourage you and your dreams at the same time.
- Run from every naysayer who will try to make your life conform to his or her mediocre box of fears.
- Holiness is not a matter of eating, drinking or dressing. It is living the character of Christ.
- Memorize this quote from Albert Einstein: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
love it. and always gotta love eistein.
Wished it was apparent that Albert was a believer… He was certainly a very gifted person. I’m sure mediocrity would have been a huge frustration. As for running from naysayers. That is tough. They are everywhere.
For a guy that lives out of the box, few people relate or are comfortable with the out of box experience. I’ve notice, God lives out of the box. Seems to be contridictory.
“Accept and embrace your … sins and limitations”?…
I understand the need to accept my limitations (accepted by God also), but my sins (unacceptable to God)?!!!
Brother Jim, what are you talking about?
Until I accept and embrace the fact that those sins are mine, I will not confess them. It is not holy to say, “Now that I prayed the ‘sinner’s prayer’ I’m no longer a sinner and have no further need for forgiveness.” Instead, it is a movement towards holiness when we admit we still fall short of God’s glory and readily admit our continued need for God’s forgiveness. God accepts the fact we sin. However, He cannot accept us into His presence unless we confess that sin. So, by accepting our sin and asking forgiveness, we find God’s acceptance of us into His presence.
Then “accept” may not be the best choice of word regarding sin in your original statement, and not in the plural (“sins”), but in the singular (the propensity to sin).
Thanks for the clarification.
You’re probably right. I’m not the best person to edit my own writings. Thanks for the clarifications and the challenges. We all need them.