This morning I got a nice shot to the gut while reading 1 Peter 1:14-16: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” ( ESV) I’m not exactly sure why, but these verses really hit me, and two things stood out.
First is the phrase “in all your conduct.” Conduct here means the totality of your daily way of life. And that little word “all” makes this phrase so pesky. It is generally easy to be holy (removed from sin, and focused on Christ) in the big things. But, big things aren’t everything, they aren’t “all.” So, this really made me ask: “Am I being holy in the little things of my daily life?” Am I holy in how I use free time, or am I generally lazy and wasteful? Am I holy when I get tired, stressed, and frustrated, or do I get irritable, angry, and short tempered? Am I holy in the check-out line at Target, or am I impatient and rude? Am I holy in my conversations with others, or am I distant, dismissive, and arrogant? “All” is a big word, and it is way too easy to overlook the small things and not live holy there.
Second, I was reminded again why as followers of Jesus we are to live holy lives. It is not to make us better people, it is not to make us more religious, it is not to earn God’s love, favor, and acceptance. No, we are to live holy lives as a response to what the holy God has done for us. Look at what Peter says, “as the one who called you is holy, you also be holy,” that means we already have God’s love, favor, and acceptance in Christ. We have been called. We have been forgiven. We have been accepted. All in Christ. So, in response to God’s grace given to us on the cross of Christ, we live holy lives to show Him our love and thanks (John 14:21).
So, some days I guess a punch in the gut is what I need. It helps clean out those nooks and crannies in my life, where there is still unholiness. And it helps me remember I can’t earn God’s favor, it’s mine in Christ, and for that, I owe Him all my love, all my conduct, all my life.