I Want to be Holy (But It Might Get Messy)

Unlike last year, I’m not making any new resolutions for my year. I’m not trying to lose weight or to double down on my minimizing. There is not a grand overhaul of my life that will occur in the coming year. I am not going to jump on a bandwagon, embracing the latest diet craze, I am simply going to be more holy.

God has called us to be holy. We are to be set apart from the rest of the world and made distinctive as a nation of priests. We are saved by grace but that’s not the end of the sentence, God also predestined us to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. Through His saving grace, we aren’t left in our sin but are given a new life and are changed.

But as a Christian, I am a deeply broken person. Part of what unites us as Christians is the deep understanding of the brokenness around us and inside of us. We long for the restoration that we are incapable of bringing about ourselves.

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” – 1 Peter 14-19, ESV

Holiness is the standard we are held to. Even as God Himself is holy, we are called to be holy. 

I would rather focus on my sinfulness. Not because I like being a sinner, but because I can fulfill that expectation. If I admit that the goal is holiness, it I strive through the power of the Holy Spirit to be transformed into the image of Christ, then I have to confront my areas of failure.

Failure, shortcomings, sinfulness, it all has to be confronted head-on. I have to own my mistakes and trust in God’s ability to work completely in my life to make me holy. Each area I fail to own my sin is an area I am saying I don’t trust the blood of Christ to cover my sin. 

But when I humble myself, when I own my sin, I acknowledge there is grace, because of the precious blood of Christ. I allow my brothers and sisters in Christ to see that Christ’s blood is not given to heal the healthy but to mend the broken, sinful people.

So I’m setting the goal this year to be holy. And, I’ve already failed it. Daily. Hourly. Minutely even. But even though I know failure is certain this year, I know that victory is as certain as the sun rising. It is a goal that I will keep, not because I won’t try to give up, but because I will be sustained by Christ.

He has promised to make me and the entirety of His Church spotless and radiant. He has bought us with His very body and blood and will one day present us, His redeemed bride, to the Father. 

Will you join me this year? Will you walk your life not afraid of the messy but ready to confront it and let God redeem it?

Can we stop ignoring sin and start openly striving for holiness, even when the process isn’t a walk in the park?

We will fail. But when we are not faithful, God is faithful. He will be faithful to work and mold us. May we all be as moldable as the clay in the Potter’s Hand. May we be tender to His touch and willing to move as He guides us until, through His power, we arrive at the end of this journey fully transformed into the likeness of the only Son of God.



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  1. Nicole Kauffman says

    Love this. We actually spent an entire Bible study on the question: Are we striving to be made holy? Such an important part of sanctification and growing in faith. Thanks for diving into this topic 🙂

  2. Esther Hosea says

    What a wonderful goal Bailey! I love the way you claim the fact that you will, and have already failed, and that this fact doesn’t have a thing to do with the victory that will be yours thanks to the work of Christ. When I see people like you who are relying on Him for their everything, it refreshes me. I know, as you do, that He will give you victory! Praising Him with you!

  3. Ashleigh rich says

    I like the idea of a goal of holiness. I just put together a list of goals for the new year using the “Wheel of Life” (different categories like career, family, finances, spirituality, etc) and I found it was a struggle to come up with some “Spiritual” goals. Holiness seems like a wonderful goal to work towards. I was just wondering if there’s anything you’re doing practically to work towards holiness this year or if it’s more of a mindset thing? I struggle with “spiritual” goals of not making them Pharisaical, but also making them something I can actually put into practice. Just thought I’d pick your brain:)