I’ve always found it funny how two words that have so little in common have been paired together, but both are words we become desensitized to as we grow.
Take the word crap.
You know how it goes: You say it when you are a kid and get your mouth washed out with soap.
You say it as a tween and get told to watch your language.
You say it as a teenager and someone covertly asks if “crap” isn’t just a substitute for another four letter word meaning excrement, so in your heart, aren’t you really saying/meaning that other one?
You say it as an adult and no one cares because by now, everyone is mature enough to use it.
Then look at the word Holy.
If you’ve grown up in the church, you might remember this progression as well.
When you’re a kid, you ask what it means and maybe your Sunday School teacher explains “God is Holy”.
When you’re a tween, you’ve kind of hit that not really listening phase, so chances are you don’t remember what was said at this time, so we’ll skip it.
As a teen, you probably heard it thrown around a lot in reference to being sinless, blameless or pure (especially in those abstinence type talks that make up the bulk of many youth programs).
By the time you’re an adult, it’s been watered down to an adjective at best and an unattainable and depressing standard-worst case scenario.
So, to set the record straight, let’s look at some definitions.
Holy, when boiled down, means set apart or dedicated.
Crap, at the end of the day, means nonsense, rubbish or, well, the obvious.
Looking at those definitions, it would seem these words are still in opposition. Who’s going to dedicate their trash?
Then it hit me—these words do go together and we are living proof.
Psalm 103:13-14 explains that God has compassion on us, because we are dust.
Isaiah 2:22 reminds us not to trust in man, because he is nothing compared to God-he has only a breath.
Psalm 39:5 reminds us our years are nothing before God and our life is but a breath.
Left to our sinful nature and our own foolishness, it’s what we boil down to.
Except that, in Christ, we are Holy, created for a purpose and set apart. We’ve got junk, we’ve got trash in our past and there are days when we don’t come out smelling like roses, but in Christ, we are still Holy-still set apart for Him.
Colossians 3:12 says we are holy and dearly loved, because we are chosen by God.
So often, I think we still bring in that whole pure or perfect definition, see we fall short and assume there is nothing that can be done.
You have to remember, you have been MADE holy.
Our response then, is to choose to be Holy because God is Holy and set ourselves apart for his purpose. Because we are holy, according to Colossians, then we endeavor to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, etc.
We don’t do those things to be holy, but because it’s already been done.
So, in the end, it doesn’t matter the junk or, well, crap, we’ve done, endured or become. It’s the Holiness that was given to a hand selected individual with a specific purpose in mind.
Anyone else tend to express “crap” sentiments more than “holy” ones? How can we better embrace being set apart?