My friend told me of her 4-year-old granddaughter who was rushed to the hospital with a high fever. At the emergency room, the doctor discovered that the little girl had massive throat and ear infections. He commented that it was amazing that she had been able to stand the pain. When her parents asked her, “Why didn’t you tell us about the pain?” She replied, “Because then the doctor would give me a shot.”

Oh my! How we are like that little girl. Our fear of the seeming pain of God’s call to holiness and sanctification creates much more pain in our lives: broken relationships, angry reactions, lack of love, absence of self control, selfishness, and many other sinful reactions. We try to avoid a small pain of a shot and end up with more painful problems like massive infections.

In order to refuse the pain of God’s call of holiness, we do things like:

  • defend ourselves: “This is just the way I am”
  • blame others: “If he/she would get his/her act together, then I wouldn’t be like this”
  • excuse certain sins: “my reaction isn’t that bad”
  • fail to recognize a deep seated, reoccuring problem: “I’ll never do it again”
  • justify ourselves: “my reaction shows her how important this is”
  • refuse to get help: “If I tell someone, what will they think of me?”

Tomorrow I’ll share more about how to choose holiness. But in the meantime, meditate on Isaiah 53:8-9 which tells us, “A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness, The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, Nor will any vicious beast go up on it; These will not be found there, But the redeemed will walk there.”

Just think, we’ll get to heaven because of Jesus and then there won’t be any pain or danger. How glorious!