Holiness? Who Cares!

“I don’t like broccoli. Even though I now live in Los Angeles where you’re supposed to like healthy food, I still associate it with my mom saying, “Eat your broccoli! It’s good for you.” It’s something unpleasant but good for me, something I don’t enjoy but know I should. Grit your teeth and take it. Holiness is like broccoli for many of us. We know we’re supposed to want it, but we don’t, not really. And we might even think the good news is that we no longer need to pursue it. Psalms talks about “the beauty of holiness” (29: 2 KJV), but beauty is not what comes to mind when we hear “holiness” today. Holiness sounds stifling, boring, even off putting. I remember years ago trying to encourage a couple who were going through a difficult time. They faced one setback after another with no relief in sight. They felt as though God had abandoned them. With less sensitivity than was needed, I turned to one of the oldest reasons why God allows trials in our lives. “When God seems absent,” I said, “he can be doing his most important work in us. As a loving Father, he’s training us as his children to trust him.” And I quoted the book of Hebrews: “He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness” (Heb. 12: 10). I’ll never forget their response because it was so refreshingly honest: “Holiness? Who wants that?” Exactly. Who wants that?”” -Rankin Wilbourne


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