As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
Anyone who has been involved in the Church for any length of time has heard that aphorism spoken in a number of ways and in many different contexts. The scripture that Peter recalls comes from the clean part of your Bible, in Leviticus chapter 11 where God speaks: “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” (Lev 11:44) Do we still take this idea seriously or has our knowledge of grace made this a mushy requirement for us.
Many Christians today take their holiness less than seriously because the notion of grace that has been taught rightfully instills in them the idea of forgiveness for sins past, present, and future. Though not specifically taught, the cultural attitude of many churches today leads to a view of grace as license. We are freed from the necessity to sacrifice by grace.
That freedom came from Christ’s sacrificial giving of His precious life.
The purpose of observing the Lenten season is as a reminder of that sacrifice. As Peter exhorts us not to live any longer in ignorance, the daily meditations of Lent remind us to be ever mindful of the sacrifice that granted us our freedom. With an agile mind and a compliant heart, push away from the evil desires.
Do you consider yourself ignorant?