During the Easter period, I've reflected on the act of Jesus, sacrificing himself on the cross for all of humanity. The thing that strikes me is that Jesus is both man and God and therefore His actions come from a Holy place. Biblically “holy” means being ‘set apart’ for God and 'to belong to God'. Therefore by extension, as followers of God, we ourselves need to be like God and therefore also be 'holy'. “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)
My understanding of being holy involves considering how we respond to situations rather than react; to NOT say the first thing that comes to mind because it may cause more harm than good.
Recently I’ve been in a situation where I was observing several people sorting out conflict that arose between them. It was very clear from the start of the conversation that all parties involved were reacting from a place of hurt and were full of emotions. Rather than addressing the issue at hand all parties became quite stressed and were saying things out of anger that they would most likely regret later because they would damage connections. It was clear to me that a couple of hours of reacting with hurtful words was going to take more than a couple of hours to resolve. It’s important to remember in those moments that once you say something you cannot take it back, and sometimes saying sorry will not fix what has been said.
In contrast, there was another experience where there was a conflict that needed to be resolved between myself and other people. Before I began that conversation I did my best to ensured I had gathered my thoughts and knew what I wanted to say and what 'outcome' I was hoping for at the conclusion of the conversation. I also made sure I had prayed over the situation and was calm and collected. When we had the conversation I stated clearly, respectfully and lovingly what I wanted to say. We all listened to each other speak and came to the best possible outcome for everyone.
Ephesians 4:29 is relevant: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” As you ponder the devotional readings from 1 Peter of this week, what does it mean for you to intentionally 'live into' the instruction of “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)? What specifically might you invite the Holy Spirit to empower you for, so you are enabled to live in a way that is holy and pleasing to God.