14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
What does it mean to be holy? I once heard that being “holy” means being “whole.” Some might think it means spending long hours in prayer or in church or reading the Bible. While all those things are good, they don’t make a person holy. If someone doesn’t take care of his/her family, or love his/her neighbor is that person holy? An example of holiness I once heard is that of a three legged stool. If any one of those legs is longer or shorter than the other and you try to sit on it, you will tip over. We human beings are much like that three legged stool. We are made up of mind, body and spirit. If we think that being holy means only taking care of the spiritual, our lives are out of whack. We need to take care of our minds and bodies as well. Jesus prayed, but he also ate and drank with his friends. He spent time alone, but he also visited with friends, studied Scripture, and taught them. He made sure his life was in order.
Everyone’s life is different, and our lives go through many stages. When we are parents, our primary focus is on our spouse and our children, and we might think we have less time for prayer – but we can offer the work we do to him; and this too is prayer. As we grow older, and our families take less of our time, we have to make sure that our minds stay active as well as our bodies if we are to remain healthy into old age. In each of these stages of life, we work on being holy; living as God wants us to live, following in the footsteps of Jesus, the perfect holy one.
Gracious God, you have set a challenge in front of us. How can we be holy as you are holy? Help us to keep you as the focus of our lives and work to bring a balance to our lives, mentally, physically and spiritually. Amen.