Daily Devotion, 09/04/2018, “The Hard Work of Holiness”
Hebrews 12:14-15 NLT Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Have you noticed that “living in peace” with some people is easier than it is with others? For whatever reason, you likely have a couple of people in your circle who you’d rather not be around. Your preference would be to avoid them altogether but that’s not possible given your circumstances. Perhaps you wish that God would change them or change your circumstances so that you didn’t have to do life with them but that doesn’t seem to be happening. What’s up with that? More specifically, what’s God up to through that?
It’s interesting that the writer of Hebrews connects the “work” of “living in peace with everyone” to the “work” of “living a holy life.” God is constantly working in the lives His followers to cleanse, restore and sanctify them. His desire is that we become holy as He is holy in the depths of who we are and in the day to day of how we live. There is no more effective tool that God can use to do His holy work in us than difficult people. It is in those relationships that we learn to fully appreciate and then to give away the grace and forgiveness we have received from God. It’s also where we learn to love with the unconditional love God has lavished on us. The best evidence that we have received the “grace of God” is in the way we handle those who do not show love and grace to us.
Becoming holy is hard work. God will use difficult people to show you where that work needs to be done. Thankfully, you’ll have some good and godly people looking after you to help you out. When that difficult person crosses your mind or your path today, “Watch out” and work hard. God is at work, hopefully in them but without a doubt in you. You are loved!