The Winsomeness of Holiness
by Max Lucado
John the Baptist would never get hired today. No church would touch him. He was a public relations disaster. He “wore clothes made from camel’s hair, had a leather belt around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey” (Mark 1:6). Who would want to look at a guy like that every Sunday?
No, John would never get hired today. His tactics lacked tact. His style wasn’t smooth. He made few friends and lots of enemies, but what do you know? He made hundreds of converts. “All the people from Judea and Jerusalem were going out to him. They confessed their sins and were baptized by him in the Jordan River” (Mark 1:5).
Look at that. “All the people of Judea and Jerusalem.… ” How do we explain such a response? It certainly wasn’t his charisma or clothing. Nor was it his money or position, for he had neither. Then what did he have?
One word. Holiness.
John the Baptist set himself apart for one task, to be a voice of Christ. Everything about John centered on his purpose. His dress. His diet. His actions. His demands.
He reminded his hearers of Elijah. And he reminds us of this truth: “There is winsomeness in holiness.” You don’t have to be like the world to have an impact on the world. You don’t have to be like the crowd to change the crowd. You don’t have to lower yourself down to their level to lift them up to your level.
Nor do you have to be weird. You don’t need to wear camel’s-hair clothing or eat insects. Holiness doesn’t seek to be odd. Holiness seeks to be like God.
You want to make a difference in your world? Live a holy life:
Be faithful to your spouse.
Be the one at the office who refuses to cheat.
Be the neighbor who acts neighborly.
Be the employee who does the work and doesn’t complain.
Pay your bills.
Do your part and enjoy life.
Don’t speak one message and live another.
Note the last line of Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 4:11–12.
Do all you can to lead a peaceful life. Take care of your own business, and do your own work as we have already told you. If you do, then people who are not believers will respect you.
From A Gentle Thunder
Copyright 1995, Max Lucado