Uncomfortable (S1) - Day 16

1 Peter 1:15-16
15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
What in the world does it mean to be holy? How can we be holy like God is holy?

These questions have been around for a long time. And these questions, these texts make us feel uncomfortable often. 

Let me set up a scenario that maybe you resonate with. You have grown up in a very legalistic household. And for us Adventists, we know what that means. We can’t swim on Sabbath, we “guard the edges” so that we don’t break the Sabbath. We aren’t allowed to listen to that “worldly” music. We might even have burned or destroyed some cassette tapes of CD’s during a week of prayer at one of our academies, only to buy them back from Columbia House a few weeks later (I might be speaking from experience. . .)

Then, we encounter grace, and the liberty that is involved in understanding that we have a God who is for us and not against us, that is an invitation into heaven rather than a security guard trying to keep us out. What a phenomenal understanding to finally recognize that we have a freedom in the gospel, that it is not a burden, but a diamond. 

However, often when we discover this, our pendulum of behavior swings, and we find ourselves even taking advantage of the newfound liberty and freedom. When we figure out that freedom, we sometimes allow ourselves to live in a manner that is perhaps a bit suspect for someone who is wanting to reflect Jesus in their lives. 

Pendulums usually center themselves after a while. The tragedy is that we have spent too much time on either extreme. We have often had a disservice done to us by the extreme legalism we had to deal with, but when we swing, we might be abusing that liberty. 

What I think ends up happening is that we become pretty uncomfortable with even the idea of Holiness. Remember, this text says we are to be holy because God is holy, not because we figured out how to be holy. It is Christ in us that makes us holy, not by the actions of our hands. While we strive to be great examples of God’s grace in the world, it is not by our actions that we are declared holy. Rather, it is by Christ living in us that creates in us Holy Ground.


  1. Have you ever had that pendulum swing? 
  2. What were you taught about behavior when you were young? 
  3. How can we stay away from that pendulum? 
  4. Is there a way to keep your kids or friends off that pendulum? 
  5. If our actions don’t make us holy, then what does? 

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1 Comment

Doyle - February 27th, 2023 at 9:49am

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.