People who seem to be perfect really irritate me. You know, the ones who are good at everything, who everyone loves, who never do anything wrong or risqué, who dress just right and talk just right and stand as a shining model for all to adore and follow? Those people. They bug me.
They bug me because I can’t relate to them. I know there are people in this huge world who dislike me, and I’m very okay with that. I’m certainly not good at everything. For proof, let’s go bowling or play video games sometime. And I’m goofy and weird and sometimes very awkward. I’m not an uber human; I’m not a perfect person. I’m simply a human, simply a person. So these “perfect people” get on my nerves because they don’t seem terribly human. They seem so much better than me, and it’s bothersome because I happen to know they’re not.
The phrase “holier than thou” comes to mind.
As Alan has said the past couple of weeks, our vision of God often looks exactly like what we see in the mirror. We want a God who just gets us. We want one who knows and understands and who will readily forgive us because of that. We want a God who, coincidentally, feels the exact same way we do about everything – that some sins are worse than others, that some things aren’t really wrong, only frowned upon, that Sprite is better than Sierra Mist, and that the Clippers should and will win the championship.
But the real God is much bigger and holier than that, and as flawed little humans, we struggle with that. Quite frankly, holiness makes a lot of us uncomfortable because we just don’t have much of it ourselves.
I find the concept of being holy (not seeming holy) intimidating. To be so pure, so refined. It feels so impossible to make me – a filthy, flawed creature – into something that could be described as “holy.” Thankfully, the word “impossible” means nothing to God.
“But Carrie, I sort of like being flawed.”
As odd as it sounds, I do too.
“Then why would I want to be holy?”
Because you get to be more like God, and I don’t mean that in a Lucifer-Paradise Lost sort of way. I mean, we get to draw closer to God by being more like Him. Instead of making Him more like us, He helps us become more like Him. And isn’t that what we were designed for, to be with God and to be undefiled?
I think we can all agree that it’s important to be close to God. Everything sort of crumbles when we’re not, so it’s important for our sakes, but it’s important for others because God demonstrates His love to them through us.
A fairly scary thought, but it’s true nonetheless. We are the avenue through which God reaches people and the example of God that people will see.
It’s one thing for us to see God as us, but something else for everyone to see Him that way. It’s inaccurate and wrong. That’s why we need to be as much like God as possible, especially in our holiness.
Some of us know people who seem to already have that holiness, and instead of turning us away, it pulls us in because it’s genuine. We don’t hate them for how they seem; we’re inspired by how they are. They’re great examples in many ways of God’s love, grace, forgiveness, and holiness. And they mean a lot to us because of that.
Wouldn’t it be cool to be that person for someone else? To know that someone values you because you help them see who God really is?
If anything is clear, it’s that holiness doesn’t come to us easily. So we’re going to have to work at it.
Ugh. More work. Don’t we all work enough? It’s like we’re always working on or for something.
God’s been showing me something in the past week. There’s a band called State Champs that I’ve basically been listening to nonstop since I saw them open for All Time Low. In State Champs’s song “Hard to Please,” there’s a line that goes, “It only matters if it’s worth it.” And on Sunday, Alan posed the question, “Is the struggle worth the reward?”
We all have a lot of struggles. We have to put in work. If what you’re working towards is worth the fight and struggle, pursue it. If it’s not, why waste your time?
Is the struggle to be holy worth being holy? Definitely. Is it worth the fight to be like God and to be closer to God? A resounding “Yes.” Anything that ends in God and His glory is always worth it. God is both our inspiration and aspiration. To neglect holiness is to neglect Him, and we absolutely wouldn’t want to do that.
By Carrie Prevette