Are the women in your church living holy lives? Are your Christian friends and family members striving to be holy? More than half may not even be trying. God can use you to encourage holiness in the lives of those you influence.
A Sad State
According to a survey by The Barna Group, 54% of American Christians either don’t think God wants them to be holy or simply don’t know.
This statistic merged with real life a couple of years ago when the novel “50 Shades of Grey” hit the NY Times bestsellers list. Women – Christian women included – gobbled it up. Women in my church and your church were reading and talking about a book classified as erotica.
In fact, the wild popularity of erotica books and movies with young moms and housewives coined a new term – “mommy porn.” And many Christian women bought into it all.
Many Christians don’t even think it’s a big deal. In fact, you may be wondering if it really matters.
Why Holiness Matters
Over and over in the Bible, our holy God calls His people to holiness. “But, just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” 1 Peter 1:15. This call is echoed through numerous New Testament writers to God’s people throughout history. We must not only heed the call, we must encourage others to heed it as well.
This call is for our good and God’s glory. A holy life not only sets us free from the bondage and consequences of sin (Romans 6:22), it also paves the way for deep intimacy with God (Psalm 15:1-2). As we live holy lives, reflecting God’s character to the world, we become bright lights pointing a dark world to Christ (Matthew 15:14-16).
Three Steps Toward Holiness
Those of us in leadership should be leading the charge to holiness, urging those we influence to live holy lives. How can we do that? Here are 3 steps in the right direction.
1. Tell Them Why – Tell why they should be holy and why they would want to be holy. Teach about it in Bible study. Use what’s happening in our culture and current events to bring it into everyday conversation. For instance, the movie of version of “50 Shades of Grey” will release in February 2015. This event will provide a great discussion starter.
2. Show Them What – As leaders, let’s model holiness. Show them what it looks like in a believer’s daily life. “Holy” doesn’t mean self-righteous or judgmental. Just set a humble, but holy example.
3. Teach Them How – Instruction in holy living should be an element of every discipleship, mentoring, and accountability relationship. Teach them to identify sin in their lives and get rid of it. Help them spot areas of weakness and vulnerability so they can protect themselves from temptation.
If you are a church leader, women’s ministry leader, mentor, teacher, or parent the holiness of God’s people under your care is your responsibility. Tell them why, show them what, teach them how. For their good and God’s glory.
Is holy living emphasized in your church? If so, in what ways?
Kathy’s newest book, Embraced by Holiness: The Path to God’s Daily Presence, helps readers discover a deeper intimacy with God through a life of holiness. This six-week, interactive Bible study explores why believers should pursue holiness and guides readers through practical steps to pursuing a holy life.