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Wholly Holy: Holy Speech

The word holy has a bad reputation today. A holy-roller is “holier-than-thou.” Holy is placed before any and all exclamations: Holy cow! Holy smoke! Holy malarkey!

Yet in the Bible, we come to know a holy God. Peter said, “as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15, HCSB).

The English origin of our word holy is “whole.” To be “whole” is to be complete or mature. Can we aspire to be wholly whole, or wholly holy? This week let’s determine ways to be wholly holy in dependence, character, thoughts, speech, and actions.

 

Holy Speech

For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.

1 Peter 3:10

Oh, you are cuteWhat do you do when someone says something critical about you?

Recently, I spoke at a women’s luncheon. Afterwards, several people came by to express appreciation. One lady remained.

She used one of my remarks to launch into her own work history in the fashion industry. She selected fabrics and did much of the sewing. “Clothes just aren’t made the way they used to be,” she lamented. “Take what you’re wearing … ”

Now, I may be no clotheshorse, but I had carefully selected my outfit from an upper tier department store. Flabbergasted by her remark, I remained silent while she carried on with her list of complaints about modern dressmaking.

Her remark reminded me of another one from a lady I encountered at a ministers/wives retreat. I was climbing into the swimming pool when the only other occupant commented on my one-piece swimsuit. “I didn’t know they made those anymore,” she laughed.

Again, I was speechless with surprise. I don’t know how other people handle these situations, but I don’t seem to have a ready list of clever replies, whether the comment is about my hair, complexion, or shoe size.

And why do people even comment on other people’s appearance, unless they want to give a compliment? Beats me.

Today’s Dose verse seems wise (especially if you don’t want your teeth rearranged). But in our society, where every stray thought winds up on Twitter, I wonder if we haven’t lost a notch on simple kindness.

In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells us to think about things that are pure, righteous, excellent, praiseworthy, lovely, admirable, noble, and true. That lets out a bunch of conversation and almost every line of today’s reality shows, movies, and television programming.

For today, keep any “rotten speech” (Eph. 4:29) at bay—whether from your mouth or anything electronic!

Seeking to be wholly holy,

Betty

Photo credit: Olga Vasilkova | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Wholly Holy: Holy Thoughts

The word holy has a bad reputation today. A holy-roller is “holier-than-thou.” Holy is placed before any and all exclamations: Holy cow! Holy smoke! Holy malarkey!

Yet in the Bible, we come to know a holy God. Peter said, “as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15, HCSB).

The English origin of our word holy is “whole.” To be “whole” is to be complete or mature. Can we aspire to be wholly whole, or wholly holy? This week let’s determine ways to be wholly holy in dependence, character, thoughts, speech, and actions.

 

Holy Thoughts

Mary pondered all these things in her heart.

Luke 2:19, 51

begging for chance - business womanTwice in the Book of Luke we’re told Mary pondered  …

Both occurrences followed amazing, wondrous events—certainly worthy of intense scrutiny. In Luke 2:19, following Jesus’ birth, Mary pondered the visit of the shepherds— God’s way of assuring her that this baby conceived by the Holy Spirit was indeed His Son, the promised Messiah. After all, angelic beings had made the announcement. Then, in Luke 2:51, after Jesus had astonished the temple rabbis at age 12, Mary pondered once more her eyewitness seat to history.

But why did Luke record that Mary pondered—not once, but twice? Seemingly, he wanted us to know Mary was a deep thinker, one who sought to discern the ways of God. If we didn’t know this about Mary, we might think she was on autopilot when she accepted the angel’s revelation about the miraculous birth. No, she asked questions and considered the implications. Read Luke 1:34-38.

Afterward, she journeyed to visit Elizabeth and sought counsel. She had many months to consider the approaching birth of Jesus. I’m certain she often pondered the angel’s message, Joseph’s reaction, the townspeople’s gossip, and her engagement.

I feel sure Mary continued to ponder throughout His earthly ministry and as she stood before the cross and the empty tomb. A lifetime would not have been long enough to search out the meaning of all she had seen and heard.

So, may I ask? Have you pondered recently? The reason I ask is that pondering is very time-consuming. It’s not a quick process or even an intriguing thought. Pondering takes contemplation. And who has time for that anymore?

Note to self: Pondering God’s wonders can happen over my kitchen sink, as I walk my dog, while I’m sitting in traffic, or during any other “free space” during the day.

Ask God to help you ponder the thoughts He wants you to dwell on today.

Seeking to be wholly holy,

Betty

Photo credit: Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Wholly Holy: Holy Character

The word holy has a bad reputation today. A holy-roller is “holier-than-thou.” Holy is placed before any and all exclamations: Holy cow! Holy smoke! Holy malarkey!

Yet in the Bible, we come to know a holy God. Peter said, “as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15, HCSB).

The English origin of our word holy is “whole.” To be “whole” is to be complete or mature. Can we aspire to be wholly whole, or wholly holy? This week let’s determine ways to be wholly holy in dependence, character, thoughts, speech, and actions.

 

Holy Character

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.

1 Corinthians 10:31, HCSB

hair_dryerThis morning I sat picking lint out of my hair dryer. I can’t remember doing this during my years as a working wife and mother. So why am I bothering with it now? Don’t I have better things to do? After all, wasn’t Jesus constantly about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49)?

Did Jesus do His own laundry? Did He take time to cook? I remember that one day He prepared breakfast for His disciples (John 21:9-12). Who prepared the bread He ate or repaired His sandals?

What do the seemingly endless daily tasks of life have to do with the kingdom of God? And why do I feel they are somehow less than what I should be accomplishing for Christ? Why? Because I live out of the misconception that doing counts for more than being.

Maybe you feel like that. You may be swiping at little runny noses and changing diapers. Or sitting in your car while the soccer practice goes on and on. Perhaps you are caring for a relative’s illness, changing bed sheets and washing pj’s. Some of you are permanent caregivers for elderly parents or aunts or uncles. You wipe drool and repeat the answers to questions that have been asked only moments before.

God’s Word assures us that life’s main purpose is to develop Christ’s character and the mind of Christ. Our attitudes are to become more like His. (See Phil. 2:5, 1 Pet. 2:21.) The fruit of the spirit passage doesn’t imply a single action that wouldn’t first grow out of who we are (Gal. 5:22).

Maybe picking the lint in my dryer isn’t the most important thing in the world, but I did learn a little more patience. This week ask God to rub some rough edges off a character trait that you want Him to chisel into your life.

Seeking to be wholly holy,

Betty