“Holiness befits Thy house, O Lord, forevermore” (Psalm 93:5). God’s dwelling place is adorned or decorated with holiness. It has the aura of holiness. It has the look and feel of holiness. It has the taste and smell of holiness. It is literally filled up with holiness. Holiness befits God’s house. Does holiness adorn your house?
God has placed us here as a family to be salt and light. If we “bubble wrap” ourselves and our kids, we are making a mistake. Jesus was called “friend of sinners”. He didn’t get that title by withdrawing in isolation. At the same time, I think it is safe to say that Christ was not influenced by the sin He encountered. While there is danger in being legalistic, of imposing our gray area views on others, or becoming boastful about what we do or don’t do, I think our greater danger is going the other direction. We hear much advice about engaging the culture. Unfortunately, I fear much of our cultural engagement is taking place around the culture’s sewer. Is our effort to relate just an excuse to conform?
The New Testament has plenty to say about not conforming to this world. We demonstrate and offer a radically different option to our unbelieving friends than the life they are now living. We are radically different, not because we are better, but because we have been rescued to a new life.
How different is the rescued life? I Peter 4:3-5 says, “For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. And in all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they malign you; but they shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”
The time for sin is “past”. The time for the practice of sin is in the rear view mirror for the rescued believer. Could there be any more accurate description of our entertainment culture than we see here in verse 3? God says run away from these sins of our past, not continue to participate. Our unbelieving friends should be “surprised” (vs 4) by our refusal to participate. Why? Because it is so rare. Are people surprised by how we parent? Are people surprised by how we spend our money? Are people surprised by our refusal to join the gossip and complaining in our workplace? Are people surprised by what we feed our minds? This is where we often lose our impact. Sadly, our Christian life is not surprising. Let your life be a surprise by your radical identification with Christ.
Surprise the world around you by refusing to “run into the flood of dissipation” that is our current culture’s mentality and be prepared for rejection as “they malign you.” Stand firm, even if it offends, if it is for the cause of Christ. Do not offend by being obnoxious, by being angry, by being judgmental. There is no blessing in that. And rest in the judgment of Christ. After all, “He who is ready to judge the living and the dead” is the one we seek to please above all others.
May holiness be the adornment of your house.