(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Reframe of Mind
By Zelda Dominguez
In my family was a group of different beliefs. My parents were one denomination; my grandmother was another. My grandfather believed in God but didn’t attend church, yet he would say he believed his own way. It was cultural beliefs mixed with superstition, wives tales, and religion intertwined. So it was no wonder I or anyone else would get mixed up or confused in search of truth, God, or living a right and holy life.
What does it mean to live a pure and holy life?
God called those who have committed their lives to Him in a personal relationship to pursue holiness.
“For I am the Lord your God. So set yourselves apart, and be holy. For I am holy.”
– Leviticus 11:44
Many Christians express the desire to live for and serve Him, but their lives do not show that. I believe it’s due partly to a misconception or misinformation of what purity and holiness are. If we don’t know what to pursue, then it makes things that much harder to pursue.
All these things growing up can play into your belief system. But the bible says, If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me (Jeremiah 29:13).
Many have the wrong outlook or frame of mind when it comes to living in purity. Let’s try to reframe our minds. Here are some falsehoods, and misconceptions.
1. We can achieve holiness by works
It is not based on anything we can do. No one can brag about earning it. It is all what Christ has done. He is inherently holy while we, on the other hand, only become holy in relationship to Christ and we only increase in practical holiness as we mature spiritually.
“Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.”
– 2 Corinthians 6:17
2. You can be pure by blood.
Just because your dad was a pastor or grandparents were Christians doesn’t mean you automatically are. It doesn’t work that way. It can’t be passed on, it must be an individual choice.
“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”
– John 3:3
The purpose of holiness is to become more like Christ, and we grow in holiness only when we move toward Him (2 Cor. 3:18; 1 John 3:2).
3. Holiness is boring
This is far from being true. Some believe to be considered living a holy life you must be an overly spiritual, solemn, isolated, recluse. The beauty of God’s holiness, when reflected by the true believer is attractive because they represent him. His Spirit lives within them. We are his workmanship.
4. Knowledge alone makes you holy
Degrees or years of schooling, If you memorize the bible, if you are a speaker, author, articulate, well known, or have certain gift or talents, it does not make you holy.
5. Holiness comes from a title
No matter what title in the church you have, it does not make you more holy. The title reverend means worthy of reverence. I once met one and he handed me his card and it said the most reverend! Although they do demand respect, their title alone does not make them more holy than another person
6. Holiness comes with determination
Say one day you decide to be a Christian and live a pure life. So you are determined to start going to church, listening to Christian music, as if you were to take up tennis. Just because you buy a racket, a new cute outfit doesn’t make you a tennis player. You cannot achieve it by your own strength or will.
7. Voluntary punishment/suffering makes you holy.
Only God can forgive. He made a way by sending his son Jesus to die for our sin. Some people believe (but it’s foolish and to no avail,) that they would inflict self-punishment as an outward expression of repentance. Someone cannot cleanse you. You or any person cannot grant forgiveness for your sins.
“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. ‘Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.’”
– 1 Timothy 4:7-8
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
– John 3:30