Many times I start reading a book only to abandon it once I become dismayed with the lack of character development or plot. I don’t want to read just to be reading…I want rich literature. So this year I decided I would reread some classics. I started with the beloved novel by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. When Scout Finch is in grade school, she goes through a spell where she wants to try out some unsavory language she has heard in school.
Her father, Atticus Finch is patient with her newfound vocabulary, but comments, “you sound common.” That reminded me of a verse in Leviticus 10:10. “You must distinguish between the holy and the common, the clean and the unclean.” The common way of living is much like Scout’s verbal experiment, it is self-serving and doesn’t align with the character of God.
“What else will distinguish us from all the other peoples on the face of the earth unless you go with us?” Moses asks this question of God when he refuses to go any further without God. God also tells Moses, “This way you will know that I, the Lord, am in the land. I will make a distinction between my people and your people.” Exodus 6:22-23.
So I ask you Christian: What will distinguish you from all the other peoples of the earth? Are you common, living in common ways or have you been made holy by being in the presence of the Holy of Holies? Are you distinguished by living a clean life; are you washed clean by the blood of Jesus? When we are a child of the Living God, we are anything but common and that should be apparent to everyone around us. Some people may not understand what is different about you, but when you are distinguished as “God’s people” He sets you apart. Many people minimize the holy and clean things and label them as pious or self-righteous. After all, if Christians will do common and unclean things then it must not be that big of a deal. But it is a big deal.
Using language that is holy, living holy, controlling anger, being faithful and trustworthy in your relationships, telling the truth, being sexually pure, managing what you see, hear and ingest, having integrity and respect, working hard, helping, giving and serving…none of that is common! None of that is even possible without Christ living in us. If the lines have been blurred between common and holy there is a distinction to be made. That distinction starts with you.
Holy living matters. It sets you apart. It even gives you confidence to be around those who are not living holy lives. You begin to take opportunities to share the hope you have with those living far from God. Believers are not set apart as a member’s only club, we are set apart to reach the lost. Living lives that are congruent to the Scriptures and to the very character of our God emboldens us to go near to those who need Jesus the most. You are set apart. You are not common. You are meant to do uncommon things.
March 13, 2023 at 4:39 am
I heard To Kill a Mockingbird is a good book by this female author. So last weekend I went to the bookstore and bought this work, I haven’t finished it yet but hope to have plenty of time to finish this book.