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How to Live a Holy Life | Charles E. Orr

A Holy Life

You will, I hope, pardon the writer if he repeats too much. Repetition is sometimes needed that a truth may be enforced. Sometimes line upon line is needful.

What, in its true sense, is a holy life? It is the life of Jesus. His whole manner of life was truly holy. His life is the ideal life. If we would live holy, we must live as He lived. The artist has his ideal before him, and with touches of the brush here and there upon his canvas he forms an exact image of the ideal. The life of Jesus is what we are to imitate. He sets the example of holy living and calls us to the same holy life. “As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.”* (1 Peter 1:15) This text has a better rendering in the Revised Version: “Like as he which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living.” As Christians we are God’s offspring, and as such are like Him.

Holiness in the life of Jesus is found not only in the great miracles that He performed, but also in the lesser happenings of His life. The restoring of life to the dead is no more beautifully holy than the laying of His hands upon the heads of children and blessing them. His memorable Sermon on the Mount no more portrays the loveliness of His character than does His conversation with the woman by the wayside well. It is the little things in everyday life, if attended to and kept in the meekness and the solemnity of the Spirit of Christ, that make life truly beautiful and holy. It is not the eloquent sermon that makes a life so sublime, but it is the tender smile, the kind word, the gentle look, given to all; it is the patient manner in which all the little trying and provoking things of life are met. You may preach or write ever so forcibly and eloquently, and bring out the sublime truths of the Bible in great beauty; but if in the privacy of your own home there are little frettings, a little peevishness, a little crossness, a little levity, a little selfishness, a little distrust, your life is not as truly holy as it should be.

If you desire God’s holy image to be stamped upon your soul, your countenance, and your life, you must carefully avoid the little sprigs of lightness, the little bits of sloth and indolence, touches of forwardness, rudeness, selfishness, etc. Pure words belong to a holy life. You should use the very choicest words, language that is free from vulgarity, slang, and the spirit of the world. Untidiness, uncleanness, carelessness, and shabbiness are not at all beautiful ornaments in a holy life. But quietness, modesty, and reticence are gems that sparkle in a holy life like diamonds set in a band of gold. Give attention to your words, your thoughts, your tone of voice, your feelings; to little acts of benevolence, the practice of self-denial, of promptness, of method and order. These are auxiliaries of holy living. Are there not many little things in your home life that you can improve upon? Seek God for help and be truly holy.