As human beings, we like comparisons. “This team is better than that team. This food is better than that food.” And oftentimes, that is how we approach holiness.
When we think of our holiness, we compare ourselves to others and say, “Well. At least I’m holier than he is.” Sometimes this can be used as a statement of pride. (An Anchorman-esque, “Hey everyone, come see how good I look.”) And of course, no one needs to convince us that is wrong.
But I am convinced that more often than using comparisons to build up our own pride, we use comparisons to be complacent. If the standard is to just be holier than the people who live next door–who, let’s be honest, are not holy at all–then I got it covered. I’m in the clear. But what if the ungodly generation around you was not the standard? What if the standard was God himself?
“You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15).
As this realization hit me this morning, I heard God saying to me, “Jordan, enough with the comparisons. That’s not how things work. But if you’re dead-set on making comparisons, here’s a comparison for you–me. You want to shoot for holiness? Your holiness should be like mine.”
When our goal for holiness is God himself, and not those around us, then complacency disappears. And so do the excuses.