I grew up as a good girl with an unwavering belief that she was bad.
Asking Jesus to enter into my life at a young age, I remember begging God to make me more like Him, and then becoming confused when I still had the urge to yell at my brother. My conclusion was either that He wasn’t listening to me, or that I could never measure up. As a result, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and divulge in whatever I felt would give me worth. I would starve my body, believing the lie that beauty equated to value. I threw myself at whatever cute boy looked my way, wondering if he would be my answer. I developed a theory that more friends led to more worth, and as a result, became a shadow of my true self in Christ.
The first time I started to believe that I was seen by God was when I was 18. A friend of mine spoke the truth to me that I could be used by Him, if I was willing to believe that I was chosen by Him. I sobbed that I wasn’t good enough. I had trashed myself, making myself broken beyond repair. Holiness? That word would never be used to describe me.
When I began to understand that holiness was never a measure I could reach on my own, my soul began to shift.
“First Christ said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’– though they were offered in accordance with the law of Moses. Then He said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:8-10
I had spent the first 18 years trying to save myself, and not understanding that I was already saved, and therefore seen as holy in Christ. By buying into the lie that I could be set apart by trying just a little bit harder, I unknowingly pushed myself further from the wide open arms of the Father.
It’s a funny concept, isn’t it? That, because of the cross, our broken, weary, sinful selves are holy just as Christ is Holy. In a culture that runs hard and fast after trying to become a “better version of ourselves”, we often believe that we hold the innate power within us to be “good”. We fill our lives with self-help books, inspirational quotes, and to-do lists that are long and productive. We volunteer once a week, and believe we have reached the quota. “Maybe now we are more like Christ”, we say. And we forget. We forget that we have no power over changing the name that He has already given to us. We forget that we are called chosen one. Son. Daughter. Beloved. Holy.
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” 2 Timothy 1:9
As believers, we are charged to live a holy life. The Hebrew word of holy is ‘qodesh’, meaning to be “set apart, sacred, and separate”. We are given the Keys of Salvation, promised that we are worthy enough to hold them, and then told to live a life that upholds our name as Christ’s church. We have no claim to holiness on our own. Apart from the Risen Christ, we are stuck trying to be good, believing that we are bad. My tiny pea of a brain cannot comprehend how?!? I could be named in likeness of Christ. But it is not for me to understand, it’s for me to believe. It’s for me to wrap myself up so tightly in that my very soul claims this identity of holiness in Christ. Because without it squishing me so hard, I cannot live set apart.
Without every fiber of my being vibrating to the tune of Christ’s blood shed for me, it is simply impossible to live the holy life which I have been called.
Holiness is a gift that was offered to us on the cross, when Jesus emptied Himself so that we stand with him inside of His cloak of righteousness. We are given the name of a holy people only because HE is Holy. To discredit this name is to discredit Jesus’ gift to us.
This is the very core of who we are in Christ because He chose it to be so. Who are you to say no?
Take it friend- in Christ, it’s yours to claim.
“But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:15-16