Simeon the Stylite, a 5th century monk, achieved fame by living on a platform three feet wide on top of a sixty feet pillar in the wilderness of Syria. He thought that the only way he could be holy and get closer to God was by punishing himself physically.
Often he would pray standing with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross for as long as eight hours. Small children from the village would climb up the pillar to give him flat bread and goat’s milk for his daily sustenance. He remained on the platform for 37 years, enduring through all kinds of weather.
Some have the notion that one could attain ‘holiness’ through an ascetic lifestyle, that is, a life of self-discipline and self-denial. To be holy, one has to abstain from worldly comforts and pleasures. So many are deceived into believing that to become holy and be acceptable to God is by self-effort. But holiness is not about living by some man-made rules and rituals.
Oftentimes we are told to be holy. People would always quote 1 Peter 1:16 “Be holy for I am holy”. The idea of being holy is to be anointed or consecrated or sanctified. In other words, we are set apart for a purpose. In Leviticus 20:7, “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God”. We are set apart to worship a holy God. We are set apart to have faith, hope and love in Christ. By our living in Christ, we become God’s witnesses in this world.
Holiness is a state of living a true Christian life. God’s ho-liness is reflected in our lives through a life of obedience and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. Out of our lives flows the beauty of holiness of Christ in us through our daily living.
A distinguished Bible scholar of the 19th century, JB Lightfoot, was described by one of his devoted students as ‘startlingly ugly: a stout little man with a grotesque figure and a squint’. But that same student also said that Lightfoot was ‘the best man I have ever encountered, and I say this deliberately after the experience of many years. In a day or two… his face appeared the most beautiful and lovable thing imaginable” (ODB, 2006).
As we seek to be committed to Christ-likeness, let us earn-estly live a life that brings blessing to others and glory to God.
Committed to Christ,
A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine – DL Moody
灯塔不会吹号，只会发光。 – 慕迪