Holiness and Love
2 July 2010
It is when full of charity that one is holy. He walks in charity. Every evil fears him; every good loves him. He has honour upon earth; he has glory in heaven.
- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13.13
Christians often let their opponents define the faith for the world. For example, is holiness most often portrayed by the enemies of the faith as rigid and dour "purity", bordering on, if not in fact, self-righteousness?
But Colman understood the essence of holiness is love. This is because love, like holiness, puts self last and reaches out to address the concerns of others. Love, like holiness, is determined that nothing in our demeanor should be offensive to God or our neighbor. Love, like holiness, recognizes that truth is more valuable than life itself, and Law is a guideline for full and abundant life.
I think many Christians fail to see the family connection between love and holiness. There's a great deal of preaching about and hankering after love within the Body of Christ, but not much enthusiasm for holiness. Yet you cannot have love without holiness; and, if you have holiness, you will love. Think: Jesus.
The quest for holiness is a quest for love; the longing for love is a longing for holiness. Love is the great and abiding virtue, but holiness is its motive force. This is why, in the new heavens and new earth, there will be no more sin - all will be holy - and the bliss of Jesus' love will fill and affect every one of us.
That being so, why not strive in this life to gain a foretaste of eternity to come? Seek holiness, and see how love grows in its fertile spiritual soil.
July Exercise: Download "Called to Be Witnesses." For the first week (July 1-11), read this little brochure over several times each day. On several days during this period, rate yourself - 1 to 10 - on the two areas, A Way of Life and Empowered for Witness. Talk with the Lord about why you rated yourself the way you did, and look for ways to improve these two aspects of your call to be holy.
Today in ReVision: No Thyself - True human self-knowledge will not be found at the end of the human genome rainbow.
This Week's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Here's a practical way to work on holiness for the month of July. What doth hinder thee?
Get the book, The Ground for Christian Ethics, from our book store, and you'll have another good resource to help you pursue holiness in the fear of God.