You Can’t “Catch” Holiness

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Ask now the priests to decide this question of law: If one carries in the skirt of his garment flesh that is holy [because it has been offered in sacrifice to God], and with his skirt or the flaps of his garment he touches bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food, does what he touches become holy [dedicated to God’s service exclusively]? And the priests answered, No! [Holiness is not infectious.] Then said Haggai, If one who is [ceremonially] unclean because he has come in contact with a dead body should touch any of these articles of food, shall it be [ceremonially] unclean? And the priests answered, It shall be unclean. [Unholiness is infectious.] — Haggai 2:11-13 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource New Day, New You – by Joyce Meyer

Holiness = separation to God, which should result in conduct befitting those so separated

In the New Testament, the same Greek word translated holiness is also translated sanctification, which the Greek dictionary says “cannot be transferred or imputed.” That means that holiness is an individual possession, one that is built up little by little, so it cannot be given to or taken from another person. In other words, you and I cannot become holy by going through a prayer line, or by having hands laid on us, or by spending time with someone else who is holy.

As we see in today’s passage from the Old Testament prophet Haggai, unholiness is contagious, but holiness is not. What that means is that if we spend a lot of time with someone who is living an ungodly life, that person’s sinful patterns can rub off on us—we can catch it like a disease. But holiness is not like that. It can’t be picked up by contact or exposure; it has to be chosen on purpose.

This is one reason why it’s so very important that we choose our friends intentionally, and especially to spend the most time with other believers who are sincerely seeking Jesus. When we do that, we can spur each other on to keep following Him (see Proverbs 27:17; Hebrews 10:24-25).

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me to proactively choose holiness, and connect me with other solid believers who are pursuing You above all else. Thank You for Your grace today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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