Holiness: Mirror Effect

February 20, 2014

Lt. Olivia Munn

I’m a new Lieutenant, and I’m goofy. While waiting for a meeting to begin, I was entertaining one of our energetic corps kids by making her laugh. A more experienced officer gave me a look and said, “Don’t forget: you’re an officer now.”

Leaders are held to a high standard of holiness. “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1).  But holiness does not mean stifling your personality, losing all sense of fun, and pretending to fit into a certain role. Sometimes the holiest choice to make is to play with the kids, or laugh with the teens.


Well then, what is holiness? “You want to know what Holiness is? It is pure love.” (Brengle)  Thanks Brengle!  If holiness is pure love, and if leaders and teachers are held to a high standard of holiness, then leaders must be held to a high standard of love.

I’m ashamed to admit, that at a certain point I almost grew weary of hearing the advice, “Love your people.”  It’s so simplistic, so obvious, and yet so vague.  But love is more than a man-made sentiment: it is the flooding presence of the Holy Spirit overtaking our lives, transforming our intentions and our actions.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14) Without holiness no one will see the Lord – if I am not holy, I cannot see God.  But further than that – if I am not holy, people around me cannot see God. My personal holiness is more than personal holiness; it is a mirror reflecting the face of God into the world.

Sin and the presence of God do not mix. Sadly, too many of us spend our energy at “work” in ministry trying to bring the presence of God to our people, but the moment we are off “work” we turn our back on His presence and dive into sin. It’s not going to work. If you want your people to experience the presence of God – be holy. Your life matters.


7 Responses to Holiness: Mirror Effect
  1. Beautiful, Olivia! (We met you at WBC last summer.)
    I want to share this with Cadets I am teaching in their Online Pre-Training Course. God bless you! You are spot on! We appreciate your sweet Mother sharing this. God bless her, too! We shall never forget her!!

  2. Hi Olivia,

    Congratulations on your newly appointed
    lieutenant status. My heart was warmed as I read your interpretation of holiness and in particular your comment, ‘if I am not holy, people around me cannot see God. My personal holiness is more than personal holiness; it is a mirror reflecting the face of God into the world’.

    I am sharing this blog article with my own young adult daughters who will be encouraged and inspired by your words as they also mirror the face of Christ in their particular context.

  3. Olivia, that is one of the most cogent explanations/applications of Holiness I’ve ever read. Life changing, really. Thank you…and blessings on your journey and your work for Him!

  4. Nicely said. Nicely lived. 🙂

  5. You have touched on many interesting things and they have warmed my heart. I love that you can be “silly” with the young people and still be that officer. And loving, even when no one is around. Thank You.

  6. Liv, I’m preaching on Hebrews 12:14 tomorrow. I love the concept that “without OUR holiness, no one ELSE will see God.

  7. Really well said! We must be a generation of officers who get down on all fours and play with kids, who go to (appropriate) concerts with our teens, and jokes around with the adults in our corps. That’s what love looks like!

    Great article!


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