This is fourth in a series on the topic of holiness we addressed as a part of XChange, a leadership event focused on conversations with various generations of women’s ministry leaders. (Read parts one, two, three, and four.)
As we seek to reach others, we should not make ourselves out to be spiritual giants who have it all together. Nor do we want to be judgmental as we seek to bring women into holy living. So … how can we be holy without being “holier than thou?” Here is what the leaders said:
- Eliminate judgmental attitudes.
- Combine love and truth.
- Be in relationship with the person first and care about her as a creation of God.
- Love the person even if she doesn’t choose holiness.
- Wisely share your own “before Christ” stories.
- Stay aware of your own current issues and flaws, and be transparent.
- Speak truth in love without judging, but don’t hesitate to speak it.
- Don’t let your “holy choices” become the issue (we can focus on our pet sins or pet areas of purity and expect others to get it).
- Don’t make cultural issues sin issues.
- Engage in continual, clear communication of truth.
- Don’t put tradition the same level as theology.
- Show genuine humility.
- Always remember grace — we have been given grace that we don’t deserve and that is the grace we show others.
As we speak truth, we must continually bath our conversations in prayer, asking God for the right words at the right time. We must also pray that our love would be evident so that His love can be experienced.
You might also want to read this blog post by George McGuire. He is speaking primarily to same sex attraction, but most of the principles are helpful in dealing with all kinds of unholy living.
What else would you add to this list of ways to be holy without being “holier than thou?”
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.
Watch for more articles in this series that will deal with discovering and addressing issues of the heart, addressing the sexually broken, and what Scripture tells us about holiness and purity.