What Does Holiness Look Like?

Maids in black

In the summer, a dozen or so young women in unfashionably long dresses and white box-like hats played beach volleyball, a game usually played by bikini-clad girls. They caused me to ponder the question – what does holiness look like? Is it a woman covered head to toe? A stern man, erect, praying in a prophet-like voice? A person who abstains from alcohol? Cigarettes? Meat?

In some societies, the look of holiness changes from one generation to the next. Three or four decades ago, holy women didn’t wear pants. They were not to look like men, preachers said. The Bible passages used to defend holy clothing were written when men and women wore similar clothing, robes, not pants. Holy fashion is seldom up to date. It keeps a righteous distance between itself and current styles.

What does holiness look like? Peter, after urging believers to be “holy in all your conduct and manner of living,” (I Peter 1:15), sums up his call to holiness in these words – “love one another fervently from a pure heart.”  So many answers to life’s questions trace back to one thing – love. 

Segments of Christian sub-culture make holiness about outward appearance when it’s really a heart issue. One holy group came to Jesus. To them holiness was all about cleanliness and what a person ate or drank. Jesus told them that it’s not what goes into a person that contaminates them, it’s what comes out.

Holiness isn’t achieved by following diets or dress codes  . . . it comes from a clean heart. (This doesn’t mean that a person can’t be extremely modest, like the volleyball playing girls at the beach and have clean hearts as well.)

Are you looking for a clean heart? Love God and put Him first. Out of your love for Him, holiness will grow. In time, holiness will become visible through your actions, words and lifestyle.

About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at: http://littleimmigrants.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to What Does Holiness Look Like?

  1. Glad you like this . . . when you think of it, holiness has so many dress codes. It’s a bit bizarre. Miss you too Mary.

  2. Mary Lucchetti says:

    Rose, I LOVE this article! It’s full of wisdom and truth. I miss you, girl!

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