I went to a meeting with some key church leaders in Cancun in late February. Figuring out what to wear was a challenge because I didn’t want to offend anyone who came from a conservative denomination that as an unspoken rule against sleeveless shirts. That fear was unfounded because they were a kind and caring group.
I laugh now when I remember as a zealous baby Christian telling someone to put a tank top on because she wore a bikini to a church beach outing. Having a holy lifestyle when I was a young Christian in Hawaii meant not wearing bikinis, being alone with a guy late at night and covering myself. Now bikinis don’t bother me but I still encourage girls to not be alone with boys at night. That’s just wisdom.
While swimming in the Caribbean Sea, I began to reflect on the intersection of holiness in this sensuous skin-baring atmosphere. Does holiness mean you cover up your arms in a tropical climate? If that’s the case, the most holy people live in cold places.
Or does covering your arms become a artificial man-made sign of holiness? If my uncovered arms in a tropical atmosphere arouse unholy thoughts or feelings in someone else, then maybe that person has a problem.
I wonder how Jesus would act on that beach with people from every age, nationality and body shape. Would Jesus cover His eyes or would He freely interact with the people regardless of how much skin they were showing? Or would Jesus be so attractive to everyone that they forgot what they wore wearing because they enjoyed talking to Him?
Jesus was attractive to sinners such as tax collectors and prostitutes. The tax collector is like today’s neighborhood thug. The thugs and people on the street such as the prostitute, wanted to be near Jesus so bad that they were willing to change their occupation. Jesus was the model of the holy – or set apart life. If a set apart life for God’s use only was attractive to sinners, why isn’t there more holiness in the church today?
I believe there are benefits of holiness that makes us attractive to the world. In Galatians 5:22-23, it states” But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control. There is no law against these things!” (New Living Translation)
Your benefit of being set apart for God’s use only is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and more! Who doesn’t want to be around someone like that?
When holiness increases in your life, you don’t get more mean, critical, judgmental or religious. You become more loving, kind,
faithful, peaceful, patient and gentle. People are attracted to loving, caring, kind, patient people.
Since God finds holiness attractive, and people are attracted by holiness, why don’t we have more of this in the church? I believe holiness could be the key to evangelism. Not crusades to get people to stop listening to secular music or seeing R-rated movies, but flowing in the Holy Spirit of love, peace, joy and more.
Holiness benefits you by bringing you freedom to be like Christ. And holiness makes you attractive to God and people. Let’s press into becoming a holy people!