Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14)
Perhaps I am just growing older, or perhaps I’ve dipped my toe into a tiny puddle of wisdom, but more and more, I turn away from things that don’t please God. Not simply certain television programs, but also circumstances and people that have sent me in a negative direction.
I find myself walking well out of my way to pursue integrity and holiness.
I’ve learned that often comes down to the simple tasks. Putting things back where they belong at the grocery store is one example. Ask anyone in my family, and I’m the person walking a box of cereal back to aisle 7.
“Now, how does that show holiness?” you ask.
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Well, someone at the store went through the trouble to set that item where it belonged. You moved it, thinking you would buy it. By setting it down wherever you are at, you leave them to pick up after you and do the task twice. Holiness, or excellence, asks you to do it yourself.
I always tell myself I need the exercise. I sit all the time, writing, and am amazed how much time has passed, so I take every opportunity to do what I am able. And here’s the important part—without complaint.
That is another example of holiness. I’m still working on not shouting at cars while driving. But at home, I’ve learned to prefer my daughter and my spouse over myself. Sure, sometimes, I want the last bite, but then again, if they eat it, then I won’t have to and, especially if it’s dessert, I don’t really need more sugar. Plus, they’re happy, and now, I don’t have to throw the item out.
Holiness and peace go hand-in-hand, in that manner. Holiness always prefers the other person. It gives. It forgives. It exercises self-control. I like The Passion Translation of version of Hebrews 12:14. “In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition, and run swiftly toward holiness.” The J.B. Phillips translation says, “Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness.”
Choose peace over competition. Make peace and holiness your ambition. That makes it a 24-7 rule. We must do it all the time, in everything.
|Image by TréVoy Kelly from Pixabay|
Contrary to what you might think, being a peaceful, holy person is a position of strength. It takes a lot sometimes to not give into what you want to do. I have found, though, the more I practice at it, the more successful I am. The less I seek to get my way, the more God gives me the desire of my heart anyway. Oh, maybe not right at that moment, but later on, someone does something kind for me that I did not expect.
I’m happier at home as well. There are less opportunities for strife, simply because I don’t see them anymore. What I see is another opportunity to walk after Christ, to bear holy fruit, and show eternal life to those in my sphere of influence. That is far more valuable.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Rm 6:22)
Suzanne D. Williams, Author