Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:13-16)~~ As God’s children, we’re called to be like Jesus. We’re commanded to love just like He does (John 13:34-35). That’s a tall order. It’s easy to feel less-than-qualified to be an example of Him, what with all our faults and bad choices, both intentional and unintentional. In fact, it’s easy to feel totally disqualified. Our mistakes—we carry their shame, we try to forget them. But we can’t forget. So we hide them instead, hoping, at least, to appear qualified. But they’re always there. And the thing is, when everyone else is hiding their mistakes too, it can feel like we’re the only ones with failings. So, not only do we feel disqualified, we can also feel separate from Him. I’ve heard the question posed “When God looks at us, what does He look for?” The true answer to that is holiness, His righteousness… after all, He created us to be like Him…in His image. But the way we live our lives is hardly “holy” and certainly not to the level that He is. I don’t think God intends for us to be created like Him and live like we do sometimes.
But our mistakes don’t separate us from Him (Rom 8:38-39), nor do they separate us from everyone else. They actually connect us. Whether we admit them or not, they’re one thing we all share (Romans 3:23). Our mistakes make us… human. They also don’t disqualify us from the call to love like Jesus. You see, Jesus knows our mistakes; we can’t hide them from Him. And yet, as imperfect as we are, he calls us still. We must confess and repent the mistakes we’ve made—and try to make fewer going forward—but Jesus doesn’t give up on us because of our mistakes. And, in fact, our mistakes (and the darkness that follows) can actually prepare us for His call. They can prepare us to love. They can teach us compassion and humility. They can also give us the authority to speak, as men who’ve been through darkness and pain, and who’ve returned!
God knows though that we can’t succeed in our own efforts but He expects us to have the will and desire in our heart. This is why the Word says “God studies the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). We can tell how people look, we see each other failing, but God can tell what we are. He judges us by the heart. We often form a mistaken judgment of character; but the Lord values only the faith, fear, and love, which are planted in the heart, beyond human discernment. It’s about our will and desire and efforts. Again, we will fall short (Rom 3:23) and that’s where the salvation under Christ comes in. This is the act of grace. Jesus is the buffer that clears up the failures we have, the sins we commit and makes up for our inability to “be holy as God is holy”; and all of this turns us around and shows us as righteous before God. Yes, God MAKES those holy whom He saves through JESUS! Right! That’s how it works!!!
The written word of God is the surest rule of a Christian’s life, and by this rule we are commanded to be holy every way. Be sober, be watchful against all spiritual dangers and enemies, and be temperate in all behavior. Be sober- minded in opinion, as well as in practice, and humble in your judgment of yourselves. It must be in all affairs, in every condition, and towards all people. We must especially watch and pray against the sins to which we are inclined. And God, “knowing the heart” gives us grace to cover where we fall short..making us Holy, as He is Holy!