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Changing the Conversation about Holiness

Jess Connolly on calling, co-leading a church, and challenging people to be more in awe of God

So I began to pull that string in my life and ask, Where do holiness and I even intersect? What does he say about my holiness? What is the actual theology about this? What do I believe about this? And is my life agreeing with what I believe about this? As I pulled that string for myself, I realized this might be a thing for a lot of women in my generation. I would love to just change the conversation about holiness, away from this fear and scarcity mentality. And I would just love if our generation of women could start talking about the beautiful parts of holiness: the priorities and the roles and the responsibilities that have been purchased for us by Jesus that we get to do.

Whenever we talk about holiness, it seems we automatically want to talk about grace. How do they fit together? And why do you think we tend to focus more on grace than on holiness?

Our intentions really are good. When we lead, we want to lead in grace. We really want to let people off the hook, we want them to feel that. If we get too far into the grace spectrum and we forget about holiness, it’s usually just because we want to be like Jesus—he was full of grace. He took grace too far. He really tipped the scales. He never lived in a balance of grace.

But it’s not about balancing one or the other, and it’s not about juggling one or the other. It’s not even about swinging between one and the other. It’s about going full-force grace and going full-force truth—at the exact same moment. So with good intentions, we end up taking one or the other too far, and, really, we should be taking them both too far.

Let’s take it to the most cellular level: relationships. How do you handle this with a friend? Let’s say you have a friend and she hurts your feelings. The question I get is, “How do I show her grace and also tell her she hurt my feelings?” I would say, You do both. You hold fast to the truth—this isn’t who God made you to be, and it’s not the way I want you to treat me—and you show grace—I agree with the grace that God’s written over both of us, and we’re human and we’re going to keep sinning. It’s not one or the other. It’s not either/or. It’s not even one then the other. It’s both at the same time.

October24, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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