February 26

Leviticus 19:1-20:21; Mark 8:11-38; Psalm 42:1-11; Proverbs 10:17

We have often seen holiness described as the personal piety that one shows God by personal behaviors. I remember the old saying, “I don’t smoke and I don’t chew and I don’t hang with those who do!”

In this narrow point of view, holiness was nothing more than freedom from personal vices. But holiness is defined by so much more. In Biblical terms, holiness covers how we treat others, including the down trodden and vulnerable.

Harvesters were required to leave parts of their field untouched so that the poor could get food. The deaf and blind were protected from harassment. Neighbors were protected against being defrauded or robbed. And, everyone was to be treated with respect.

God really raised the bar for what holiness is. It is so easy to make holiness about dress style (no makeup, no pants or jewelry) but it’s so much more. We have to master treating people by God’s loving standard. This is true holiness and shows a respect for God.

It is interesting that when Jesus healed the blind man, his first perception of man was jaded so Jesus had to touch him again. I wonder if we need a second touch from Jesus so that we can see people as God sees them.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 20:22-22:16; Mark 9:1-29; Psalm 43:1-5; Proverbs 10:18