Willing and Able
We get to but we don’t have to. We are invited to be something that we cannot achieve on our own. We just get to receive and agree, we don’t have to strive or perform. We can’t mess it up as long as we don’t try too hard.
We get to be holy. If you have any self-awareness whatsoever, that’s likely not an idea that resonates with the other stuff in your life. The stuff that would seem to disqualify you as holy argues with the truth of the invitation into holiness. If we can work past the typical talk of self-disqualification, we are afforded an opportunity to step into the incredible gift of holiness.
Ephesians 1:4 says that we “should be holy and without blame.” If we aren’t careful, the next thing we’ll do is either quit or try. If we think we’re too screwed up, we’ll give up. If we don’t realize how screwed up we are, we’ll try harder. Either way, it’s not going to work.
In Leviticus 19:1-2, God tells His people, “‘You shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy.” Same thing with “shall be.” If we filter that wrong, we’ll see it the same way that we’re likely tempted to see “should be.” Quitting or trying is not the target.
The original words used for “shall be holy” and “am holy” in Leviticus are actually the exact same word. The exact same word is used to tell us to be something that we can never be without some help and to declare something that has to be without help. God doesn’t need to try to be holy; He just is. If He weren’t, He would not be God. The same word He uses for His holiness is used for ours in the Leviticus passage. That’s because His holiness is our source of holiness.
He is, so we can be too through Him. It’s His and He offers it to us as ours. Holiness despite our flaws offends our sense of justice and reward for performance. Holiness as our identity depends on not only His holiness, but also His grace. Holiness is ours to receive and be from and through Him.
We get to, we don’t have to. He is offering, if we are willing to receive.