My ultimate goal in life is to fulfill the directive given to me in 1 Peter 1:16 “Be ye holy; for I am holy”. That statement probably comes across a bit cocky if you don’t understand completely what my interpretation of holiness is. When I think of holiness unto God I look past society’s interpretation of what holiness should be; soft spoken, gentle always, speaking and quoting scripture at all times, knowing the bible (inside and out) or probably coming up with some super inspirational quotes that no one has ever heard before. In my quest toward holiness I try not to think of people that the world has held in high regard because of their lifestyles and service to men; Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and others, and it’s not because I don’t like these people or don’t appreciate what they did for us, it’s simply because I’m not these people and while I admire them, they are not the ones I wish to be like.
I want to be like Christ while being me. I want to maintain my style and my sense of humor and my wittiness. I still want to get overly excited about simple things and laugh uncontrollably at my own jokes (even when I’m the only one that gets it). I want to show how passionate I am about things I support (like sports teams) and stand up for people I don’t know because I feel they’re being mistreated or misjudged. I want to be my silly, clumsy, super emotional self, while still appearing before God’s throne holy and acceptable in His sight.
For years I walked around comparing myself to others, trying to find the true definition of holiness through them. I would examine other people’s characters and choose the bits and pieces that I figured would add to a holy person’s character and I’d try to personify those things in me. I didn’t know how to accept my differences and up until recently, the moment someone pointed out a “fault” or something different about me I would become dead set on changing that trait or removing it from my life completely. Can you imagine how heart wrenching and difficult that was for me? Trying to change my laugh because someone found it was too loud, or not asking people for more information about something that struck me as interesting, because one person commented that I ask too many questions or not being as particular about the way I keep my things because someone saw it as being weird? It was overwhelming!
I was slowly becoming unhappy and angry. I wasn’t expressing myself in a healthy way. I had been removing the very things that made me who I am, scooping out parts of my soul and wandering around as a carefully constructed shell of a human with well calculated responses and methods for living a “happy” life. I was an unhappy woman who portrayed happiness because I never learned to be happy with who I am. And worse of all I began to criticize other people when they didn’t meet my perception of who they should be. I couldn’t accept other people’s differences and appreciate others for who they were.
For fear of straying off topic let me quickly digress to the point I was trying to make. This morning as I sat and reflected on me, I finally accepted that it’s okay to “be me” and still strive toward holiness. Holiness isn’t defined by my personality, it’s defined by my relationship with God and my ability to live in accordance to His word and His way while being guided by His Holy Spirit. My measure of holiness should be the word of God.
Think about it, if we were all very quiet, meek people the world would be a boring place and if everyone was loud and energetic it would be an overwhelming experience to encounter people. Even if we all struck a perfect balance in our personalities we’d be the equivalent of zombies roaming the earth. But with the beautiful mix of personalities in the world we can appreciate each other’s differences and enjoy living a life holy unto God while being our unique (sometimes crazy) selves.
What I’m trying to say is we’re all different and we won’t always meet people who will like us all the time or enjoy our company, and that’s okay. We just need to be at peace with who we are and be open to the Holy Spirit when he tugs on our hearts to make those changes necessary to be more like Christ. People will have their opinions and their quirks with your personality but once you’re working on your relationship with God and looking to Him for guidance and counsel you’ll be okay. Holiness and perfection doesn’t lie in any man, only in Christ Jesus.
With that being said , I’m reiterating that I’m striving towards holiness in accordance to God’s will and His way and I’m going to do so while still being me! So if you see me laughing out loud or tripping over stuff or even crying uncontrollably for mushy things in movies, it’s not that I’m no longer a Christian woman striving to perfection, it’s just me doing it my way!