Holiness: Discipline and Grace

April 14, 2014
1 Comment

Lt. Olivia Munn

I had a chat about holiness with an unbelieving man I know. He’s a very smart man, and he knows a lot about philosophy and psychology. His name is Lawrie.
I was sharing how many of the people don’t agree on the topic of holiness, and how it’s a fairly controversial subject. He asked me why it was controversial.
I was reticent to explain it to Lawrie, because I figured that theological banter would not be beneficial to a nonbeliever. But I began to define the controversy, and we ended up talking about nothing but holiness for the next 2 hours.

I believe that it is possible to actually live a holy life, rather than merely be forgiven and continue to sin.

I was stunned to discover that Lawrie agreed with me.
I am especially stunned because many believers I meet do not agree.
He told me that his big objection to Christianity is the fact that so many Christians accept forgiveness and continue to sin. It seems that our belief in grace affects us so that we think we’ll always inevitably sin, and that’s why we have Jesus. Both Lawrie and I think that there must to be a change of heart and action, or else the mercy of God is being treated like something light and worthless.

I once caught myself praying, “Lord, teach me a balance between discipline and grace.”


But I had to stop myself and take it back.

Grace and discipline are both divine things, good gifts that the Lord gives us. I don’t want one to balance out the other. I want to live in fullness of both. One does not take away from the other, but that it is possible to live in grace and forgiveness 100% of the time, but to also be 100% disciplined and self-controlled.

If you find that you struggle with legalism– the answer is not removing disciplines from your life– the answer is revelation of His grace.

If you find that you struggle with laziness– the answer is not bogging yourself down with a burden of trying to save your own soul– the answer is self-control.

It’s possible to be righteous, zealous, holy, and crazy-in-love-with-Jesus, while also being relevant and non-judgmental. Righteousness and relevancy– you can have them both! Relevancy does not need to equal compromise, and righteousness does not need to equal snobbery.

Don’t confuse holiness with religion. And don’t confuse humanness with wickedness.

One Human rescued humanity. He dignified Humanity by condescending to become a part of it.
If flesh and bones are honorable enough for Jesus to live in, then they are highly honored – beautiful temples for a beautiful God.

Muscles and blood and hair and skin and emotions and toes… Jesus had them. He therefore brought holiness incarnate into each of those places, like the breath entering the dust in Eden. My humanity is not longer an excuse for sin. My body is not an unholy burden, but a home for the Living God, to be cared for and fully mobilized. The dust is now glorious dust.


One Response to Holiness: Discipline and Grace
  1. Beautifully said. Thank you 🙂


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