Today, we begin a series on living holy in an unholy world. We addressed this topic at this year’s XChange, a leadership event for women’s ministry leaders of all generations.
We must strive for personal holiness if we want to influence other women in this area. And all of us have to rely on God’s grace to live holy. To help others, we must first identify the unnamed and/or never discussed sin issues in the body of Christ. Following are the various issues surrounding holiness we discussed:
- Sexual sin
- Drug abuse
- Secret affairs
- Addictions (sex, alcohol, drugs, pornography, prescription drugs, gaming, food)
- Same sex attraction and how to respond to friends dealing with this
- Expectations of sex when dating
- Female porn and fantasizing (even Christian fiction can be inappropriate)
- Sharing things with friends you should be sharing with your husband
- Unrestrained violence (bullying)
- Sexual immorality
- Disobedience and rebellion
- Social drinking (having honest conversations about it)
- Jealousy, envy, covetousness, greed
- Lack of respect for God, ourselves, and others
- Over sharing on the internet
- Unhealthy television and movie choices
- Apathy towards sin
- Judgmental spirit
- Competition within the body of Christ
- Broken commandments
What else would you add to this list?
We must be willing to address and discuss these issues in the church. Where else will women get healthy, godly answers? First, we as leaders must recognize and own our own sins. We must deal with all sin, not just the things that only tempt others and not us!
We must be willing to share our stories of struggles. We must provide a safe place for women to talk about the issues they face daily, and we must equip them with tools to seek out the answers the need, the Bible being the most important tool of all. All sin is a heart issue. As we deal with the heart, and allow God’s Word to penetrate the hearts of the women we serve, He will open their eyes to His truth about each area of sin.
Watch for follow-up posts dealing with emotional purity and what holiness looks like when embraced. We will also discuss how to cultivate holiness, live holy without being “holier than thou,” and other aspects of living holy.
Chris Adams is senior lead women’s ministry specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn.
Resources on Holiness:
Embraced by Holiness by Kathy Howard
Holiness: The Heart God Purifies by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Called to Be Holy: Growing in the Likeness of Jesus by Richard Melick, Jr.