THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
CALLED TO HOLINESS
We are called to holiness. Now, not to respond to this call
is dangerous, because not to move forward along the path God
desires for us is to risk losing our way. After all, the world
entices us, the devil lures us, and our flesh gives in easily.
example, the world is all about materialism and financial
success. Many quickly fall into greed, not being content with
the good that they have, but wanting more and more. Jesus
says, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though
one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
(Lk 12:15). Not working to grow in holiness can bring us to
working to have more of worldly things. For the rich man who
had a bountiful harvest, that was disastrous. He thought he
could now rest secure in his possessions, but God called him
a fool, investing in something he could not take with him
beyond this life. So will it be for anyone who looks to worldly
goods than to God. “Thus will it be for the one who
stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters
to God.” (Lk 12:21).
fact, the wisdom books of the Old Testament tell us about
how pursuit after worldly things will in the end be in vain.
Qoheleth says he “undertook great works” (Eccl
2:4a), had great wealth (Eccl 2:8), satisfied his every human
desire (Eccl 2:10), but in the end considered it all in vain.
“But when I turned to all the works that my hands had
wrought, and to the fruit of the toil for which I had toiled
so much, see! all was vanity and a chase after wind.”
are not created for the world. Our lives are not to be spent
just indulging ourselves or accumulating worldly possessions.
There is a higher purpose. We in fact are set apart. We are
to be in the world but not of it. That is what holiness is
about. “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”
does holiness consist of? It is a rejection of the world and
its values. “Put to death, then, the parts of you that
are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and
the greed that is idolatry.” (Col 3:5). It is a turning
away from our old sinful ways. “But now you must put
them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language
out of your mouths.” Col 3:8). Since it is about being
set apart, it means being a new person renewed in Christ.
It is to “have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for
knowledge, in the image of its creator.” (Col 3:9-10).