Holy is as holy does
By Jimmy Cochran
I try to avoid using “church words” at all costs. They scare me because I’ve seen too many people run the other way when they hear one. You know them … words like “righteousness,” “sanctification,” “justification” and, the big one, “Holy.” That’s the word that has captured my thoughts for the past few weeks. I know the dictionary definition and the definition I learned in both Sunday School and in Seminary, but, now I’m working on what my definition is.
Am I holy? Just to write those words gives me a shudder, because I certainly do not consider myself in that way. Dictionary.com defines holy as, “devout, having a spiritually pure quality, dedicated or devoted to the service of God.” My mom defines it as, “living your life so that you reflect in every way the life and teachings of Jesus and the one defining quality is how you love others.” I like that.
Well, I don’t smoke, drink, chew, cuss or kick small animals, I go to church every Sunday and don’t surf inappropriate websites, so does that count for anything? I have certificates of license and ordination hanging on my wall … do those make me holy? I believe all the traditional beliefs about God and I am not afraid to share my beliefs with anyone, but I do tend to stir the pot occasionally when I write. Well, maybe more than occasionally, but I have always felt that the stuff I feel and experience can’t be just me, so I write to try and encourage and make you think. Whenever I have taught classes or led retreats or speak to groups, I just want people to know that God doesn’t get all theological and “King James-ish” … He just wants us to Love Him, Love others and to Live Simply for Him.
Looking back over much of my life, I seem to always be on a journey somewhere when it comes to my walk with God. Just when I think I’ve about gotten there, off we go on a different direction. Lately, I have felt the strong urge to become even more devoted to God. More serious about my faith. More compelled to find a place where I am at peace, a place where I can identify closely with my faith family, a place where I can worship, a place where I can study and learn and become … well, more holy. Maybe it will mean “unfriending” a few Facebook friends whose postings might be a hindrance to my growth in Christ. I do know that I will need to be more aware of where I am and where I go. Because of who I am. Because of Whose I am. I constantly come across people from here in McDonough and Henry County who read my columns and have read my books. I need to always live my life for the God I serve and share about and there should be no doubts about that when you see me out and about.
I have found a couple new passages in the Bible lately that I have written down and have on my desk, both here at home and in my office. They remind me of my role as a Christian and what I should be doing daily. Just one step toward becoming … holy.
“Learn to do good and seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphans and protect the widows.” (Isaiah 1:17)
“And this is what the Lord requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8).
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.
Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Amazon.com. Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.