The Task of Being Holy
It may require hard and time-consuming work upfront but that alone is not enough, we must continually walk toward holiness.
One of the things my husband and I love to do together is prepare a house to be put for sale. We have had the opportunity to do this together, for ourselves and alongside various family members, a few times in our marriage. There is something about putting in the work to freshen up a house that is so rewarding. Sometimes a house may just need to be revived with a fresh coat of paint in a couple of rooms, a powerwash of the porch, a little time restoring the flower beds, a good deep clean and some of the clutter put away. But other times, a house may require a bit more attention and time-consuming updates like reclaiming a fence that has been overtaken by vines, changing a floor plan to be more suitable to a family by adding a wall, removing wallpaper and scraping off popcorn ceilings, or rebuilding an unsteady floor. No matter what a house requires to prepare it for the prime selling condition, it is hard work.
Once all the initial hard work upfront is complete, the job still remains unfinished. Clothes need to be continually kept off the floor and dishes out of the sink, baking salmon may need to be temporarily scratched off the meal idea list, and life may need to be interrupted at the drop of a hat so someone can view the home. The work doesn’t stop until the end goal of a signed contract is accomplished.
Of course, all of this is not necessary for a house to sell, but it is likely that a house will sell a lot quicker if the homeowners do everything they can to be ready for the house to sell, and all of the hard work and hopeful nights put into this process will only make the completed contract all the more rewarding.
Just the same, Jesus is coming back to offer us the complete and final gift of his grace whether we are fully prepared or not. But in 1 Peter 1 & 2, we are called to be ready and active in preparing our minds. Peter sums up our task of being ready as “being holy.” This sounds like an unachievable task for sinful humans. However, just like selling a house, being holy is a process. It may require hard and time-consuming work upfront but that alone is not enough, we must continually walk toward holiness.
Peter breaks down what being holy consists of in these two chapters, he says we must not conform to our old evil desires but instead “love one another deeply,” “rid ourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind,” and “live as strangers here in reverent fear.” These are tasks on our to do list that will show up daily as we continually work toward holiness. Keeping our minds active and focused will increase our hope day by day and will only make our future gift in God all the more rewarding.