Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
Back when we took Art History, my college roommate and I joked that the halos behind the heads of the saintly people in medieval paintings looked like pie plates.
Those guys sure had a strange and otherworldly quality to them. That’s how I used to view being holy — being very severe and ethereal and far above things that regular people are into. If I were to be holy, I would need to strive for my own pie plate.
But is that what today’s scripture verse is saying ? Does God expect us to have a strange and unearthly quality ?
Lately I have taken a fresh look at holiness, and I don’t think it is weird and unearthly. I think a danger of pie plate holiness is taking myself way too seriously and annoying other people by thinking I am somehow more “holy” than they are.
Just look at what Scripture says holiness really is like :
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
Indeed, instead of making me stuffy and remote, holiness makes me more joined to life and to other people, not less. To be holy is to be warm, friendly, caring and patient. Holy people even laugh a lot !
If we’re holy, we have no need for a pie plate over our heads. No otherworldly look on our faces. Just an overflow of God’s grace, passing on his amazing love for people.