Last week, I blogged that God is “holy, holy, holy” — or “all holy,” which I called “omniholy.” In researching that post, I came across a phrase that caught me off guard: “You are holy.” Really? I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel holy. However, it is apparently true that we are holy — or at least that we can be holy.
Of the five Bible translations I checked, the phrase “you are holy” appeared in four: The Amplified Bible, the New Living Translation, The Message, and the Contemporary English Version. However, the New International Version, instead uses the word “consecrated.”
The definition of holy that best applies is “Living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system; saintly.” Whereas, consecrate means “set apart.” When I think about these two words in a practical sense, I am struck with contrasting images.
One is a negative image of someone who wears special clothes, talks in a monotone drone, and moves at a painfully plodding pace. To me these people are putting on airs, they are posers — not holy, only pretending.
The positive image is a person whose actions are different, in an unpretentious and comforting way; they carry a calm assurance of who they are and what they do, not calling attention to themselves, but making a quiet difference everywhere they go. While some people can pursue this through an act of will, the real solution is having the presence of God inside us to such an overflowing extent, that his essence exudes from us.
Yes, though God, we can be holy and consecrated — just as the Bible says.