“Be holy in all you do.” 1Pe 1:15 NIV

Holiness isn’t a subject we hear much about these days. So, what does it mean to “be holy”? First, let’s understand what it doesn’t mean: (1) It doesn’t isolate you from the world, it insulates you against its negative influences. (2) It’s not a scorecard for deciding who’s close to God and who’s not. It’s having a heart that’s aware of your shortcomings and praying, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Ps 42:1 NIV). Holiness means to be set apart in a special and exclusive way, as in Holy Communion where the bread and wine are set apart from everyday use to honor Christ’s death. Or holy matrimony, where a couple promises to be faithful to each other to the exclusion of all others. Chuck Swindoll wrote: “When I was…a …young husband serving in the Marines…eight thousand miles away from my wife, I knew Cynthia existed. I could read her letters and occasionally hear her voice on the phone, but I couldn’t see or touch her. I’d only the memory of our standing together three years earlier before God and a minister who’d pronounced us husband and wife, setting us apart exclusively to each other for the rest of our lives. We were wed in June 1955, but regardless of how long ago it was, we stood together and committed ourselves to a holy intermingling of our lives. To be intimate with another woman would break that holy relationship, that exclusive oneness. Remembering that helped keep me faithful while we were apart those many months…and it still helps forty-one years later!”