wikiHow to Be Holy

Two Methods:Understand God's HolinessStrive for Holiness in Your Own Life

Instead of striving for fame, fortune, or material happiness, the Christian must strive for holiness. Holiness comes from God, and as such, one must first understand God's holiness before implementing that holiness in his or her own life. Even after you understand what perfect holiness is, however, striving for holiness in your own life will still take self-discipline and dedication.

Part 1
Understand God's Holiness

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    Look to God's absolute perfection. God is perfect in every way possible: perfect in love, perfect in mercy, perfect in anger, perfect in justice, and so on. This perfection is directly connected to the holiness of God.[1]
    • God is without temptation and without sin. As indicated by James 1:13, "God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one."
    • The things that God does and desires may not always make sense from a human perspective, but being a believer means trusting that God's actions, commands, and desires are all perfect, even when you cannot comprehend them.
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    Think of holiness as the character of God. God is holy, but in another sense, God is holiness itself defined. There is nothing or no one more holy than God, and holiness itself is only fully embodied in God.
    • God is unlike any other, and God's holiness is the root of that "otherness."
    • Mankind can never be perfectly holy as God is, but humans should seek to emulate God's holiness since humans were created in the likeness of God.
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    Reflect on God's command to holiness. Striving for holiness in your own life is something that God has commanded you to do as a believer. The task at hand might seem overwhelming, but you should take comfort in the knowledge that God will never ask or demand you to do something you cannot do. As such, holiness is within your reach.
    • In Leviticus 11:44, God states, "For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy."
    • Later, in 1 Peter 1:16, God reiterates, "Be Holy, for I am Holy."
    • By understanding how God moves in your life, you can train yourself to trust in God and never give up the hope of heaven. This sort of hope provides you with an anchor, and this anchor can keep you grounded in God's truth in your pursuit of holiness.

Part 2
Strive for Holiness in Your Own Life

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    Belong to God and thirst for holiness. True holiness will only come once you give your fully life to God. In doing so, you will recognize how you have starved for holiness in the past and how you hunger and thirst for it in the present.
    • To belong to God, you must be “born again.” In other words, you need to accept Christ and let the Holy Spirit work in your life.
    • Before you can truly "thirst" for holiness, you need to reach an understanding about why it is important for you to do as God wants. God does not demand things from you simply to test you. Instead, God wants what is best for your eternal well-being and issues commands to you based on that.
    • Even though humanity naturally thirsts for holiness, the world offers so many distractions that the appetite for holiness is often spoiled. The distractions of the world will never offer the spiritual nourishment the soul needs, however.
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    Prepare your mind and heart. Even though it is possible to achieve holiness, doing so is not often easy. You need to dedicate your mind and your heart to the practice if you have any hope of accomplishing the task.
    • In 1 Peter 1:13-14, the believer is instructed to "gird up the loins of your mind." If transcribed more literally, it would mean, "prepare your mind for action."
    • Setting your mind to action means making a clear, determined effort to abandon sinfulness and follow God in holiness.
    • There will be plenty of outside influences that try to lead you astray. If you do not fix your mind on a clear, definite goal, you are more likely to slip off the path you need to walk down in order to reach it.
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    Avoid moralism.[2] Many people often get the wrong idea about holiness and think that it can be achieved simply by following a strict set of rules. Rules and rituals have their place, but when you start to care more about looking holy than being holy, you tread into the realm of moralism.
    • For example, if you pray in public for the sake of being seen by other people, your attitude toward prayer is not as healthy as it could be. You can pray in public if the situation warrants it, but when you do so, your prayers must be for the sake of communicating with God.
    • There is nothing inherently wrong with being viewed as a spiritual or religious person, but that view must come about naturally. You must abandon the desire to appear holy to other people. If people still develop that view of you after the fact, then there is nothing wrong with it, but there is no guarantee that those around you will perceive your desire for holiness.
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    Set yourself apart. As noted, God's law does have a part to play regarding holiness. God commands his believers to set themselves apart from the sinfulness of the world. This does not mean shutting yourself off from the secular world, but it does mean following God's law even with secularism criticizes you for doing so.[3]
    • In Leviticus 20:26, God explains, "And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from the other people, that ye should be mine."
    • In essence, being "severed" from other people means severing yourself from the worldliness of other people. You need to sever yourself from influences that are not of God.
    • Understand that you do not need to shut yourself away in a monastery or convent to severe yourself from worldliness. You do exist in the world, and if God did not want you here, God would not have placed you here.
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    Practice self-control. You will never escape temptation, even if you do start exercising holiness in your life. When you face temptation, though, you will need to control the harmful desire to give into it to maintain any degree of holiness.
    • Temptation does not always come in a tangible form. It is relatively easy for many people to resist the temptation of stealing something from the store or physically hurting someone who angers you. It is much more difficult to resist the root temptations of greed and hate, though.
    • To really practice self-control, you need to do more than simply stopping the obvious sins. You need to guard yourself against the weaknesses of character that can distract you from God. These weaknesses include things like pride, envy, greed, hate, slothfulness, gluttony, and lust.[4]
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    Do not tolerate sin.[5] For the most part, this means being intolerant of sin in your own life. Being intolerant of sin also means rejecting it in the world around you, though. No matter how much you may love someone, when that person sins, you must not make excuses for the sin or accept the sin itself.
    • Words like "intolerance" and "judgment" are often thrown around carelessly and used as criticisms, but the concepts themselves are not wicked. After all, few would claim that it is a bad thing to be intolerant of hate or to judge something as safe or dangerous. The error lies not with intolerance itself, but how it is practiced.
    • Be intolerant of sin, but do not use that intolerance as a justification for hating others. God is all that is good, and love is good above all else.
    • At the same time, you should not allow the love and sympathy you have for others to blind you to sinfulness. You cannot judge or control the hearts of others, but you should not accept someone else's sin as "right" since doing so damages the purity of your own heart.
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    Die to self but love who you are. Dying to self means surrendering any desire that is not of God. That being said, God created you to be who you are, so you need not despise your existence.[6] If anything, you need to love yourself in the same way that God loves you before you can approach God's level of holiness.
    • God created you just as you are, which means that you are beautiful just as you are. Your beauty includes all of your struggles, weaknesses, and past mistakes.
    • Even though you are beautiful just as you are, you also need to recognize your struggles and weaknesses for what they are. Seeking holiness means committing to the practice of leaving these vices behind for the sake of God.
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    Consider working catalysts into your daily routine. Some spiritual practices can serve as catalysts that help propel you toward a holier, more enriched existence. You do not always need to practice these catalysts to be holy, but they may guide you toward holiness when used.
    • For instance, in order to strive for holiness over the way you view food and eating, you could try fasting for one day, or even for half a day.
    • In some cases, holiness in a certain area of your life cannot be achieved without practicing the catalyst, even though the catalyst itself is not holiness. For instance, you must love and submit yourself to your spouse in order to have a holy marriage, and you must love your enemies in order to have holy relationships overall.[7]
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    Pray for holiness. Being holy is a difficult task and cannot be done in the absence of God. Prayer is a powerful resource—one of the most powerful tools available to the believer, in fact—so praying for holiness on a regular basis can help you become and remain holier.
    • Your prayers for holiness do not need to be long, extravagant, or eloquent. Something simple is perfectly fine as long as you pray it from your heart.
    • For example, your prayer could be as simple as, "God, let me thirst for holiness more than I thirst for worldliness, and make me holy in every aspect of my character and actions."

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Categories: Christianity