I write this blog just as we have arrived home from a field trip to glean ideas from another church’s clothing assistance program. It was probably good timing in relation to this past Sunday’s sermon. Leviticus 19 had us talking about holiness. And holiness is mostly about how we treat our neighbor.
I know, I know, sometimes the neighbor is just plain mean. Believe me, I get it. But in someone else’s eyes, I’ve probably been an annoying neighbor. And, I still want God to love me. So, God still loves your maddening neighbor, too.
Leviticus 19 is a part of the Holiness Code. One of the things I shared in the sermon is that being holy doesn’t sound like something you’d want to hang out with your friends and do...be holy. To hang out with God a little easier, to hear the messages that come from God, practicing holiness kind of paves the way. If we are dissuaded from gossip, and maybe put that energy into doing something that you know your neighbor needs help with, then you are practicing holiness. Now, I will tell you a surprising secret about practicing holiness by giving more of yourself: you’ll be happier. Yup. Guaranteed.
You can’t go into it with that expectation. Instead, just do the right thing. The work (whatever it is) will break down barriers, letting some more God-stuffing inside of you. And if it isn’t happiness that comes upon your doorstep, then contentment may find her way in.
There are many activities that we engage in which only offer a momentary fix. Activities usually subconsciously conjured to help us avoid looking life straight in the eye. What might those things be in your life? We often think of avoidants such as drugs and alcohol, but sometimes it’s too much time spent at work, or at a craft that was once pleasurable, but now has become a place to hide. I have even known people whose upkeep of a demanding home kept them from connecting with people in their lives.
Being holy doesn’t take extraordinary measures. Only some thoughtful consideration of what you think God would like of you. You. And only you. The neighbor is God’s problem to work on.
Read Leviticus 19 and then find one small activity you could try that will make the world a better place. Then just keep on building.