It wasn’t quite like hitting the lottery, but to a five-year-old, it was close. My daughter and I had stopped to pick up a couple items from the grocery, and on our way back to the car, we stopped at the coke machine to make a selection. Orange was the choice of the day.
I handed two quarters to Elizabeth and she dropped them in the coin slot, then with great anticipation pushed the button. Click, slide, clank, we heard the drink come down the chute. And then more clicks, more slides and lots of clanking. “It sounds like a couple more drinks came down accidentally,” I told her. Then we started pulling out drinks and our change. One. Two. Three. Four. “They’re still coming!” Five. Six. Seven. . . . It was a full twelve-pack! For 35¢! No doubt that it was the best deal to be found in town that day.
What to do? There was only one thing. We bagged up the drinks, and returned them to the store. Then we talked all the way home about why that was the right thing to do.
Holiness is not just an issue of not murdering, not cheating on taxes and loving those who love you (Mt. 5:21-48). Holiness is a heart matter (Mk. 7:20-22). Holiness is determined by actions in the small things (Lk. 16:10). Holiness is a matter of consistency (notice that Peter said all behavior). Holiness is behaving like we are what are — chosen children of God.
The reason we are holy (i.e., distinct and separated from those whose father is of the world) is because God (our Father) is holy. We’re not holy because it is expedient. We are not holy because our church (or family or friends) expects it. We are not even holy only because it is the right thing to do (though that is certainly part of it). We are holy because we belong to God and it is our calling and passion to be like Him.
After all, since we will be holy for all of eternity, and since we are confident that we will be able to see God for all of eternity, is not our greatest passion to be like Him now? It is. (Check out 1 Jn. 3:1-3.)