“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, God’s special possession, that you many declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
It’s hard to imagine a world that doesn’t shout for and demand tolerance, isn’t it? It simply is no longer acceptable or politically correct to say that anything is wrong or sinful. But what about personal matters of sin? Let’s address self here, for just a moment. Other people and our perceptions of them aside, how have these lectures on tolerance personally impacted your life? Do you tend to swim upstream, going against the grain, or do you more often than not go with the flow in order to avoid ruffling anyone’s feathers? Is your life marked by conviction or by compromise? Do you tolerate personal sin? Is the standard by which you measure everything against defined by the world or by the Word?
Our conversation today is not about your irritating neighbor, not about your less than lovely in-laws, and certainly not about your co-workers with whom you have major moral disagreements. We’re talking about you and me. Let’s make it personal and choose to reflect on self here for just a moment and not others. Do you tolerate personal sin in your life?
The list can go on and on, but the point today is conviction. God speaks over us as His sons and daughters that in Jesus Christ, we have been chosen to be holy as God is holy. It’s a high calling and a lofty standard, and it is attainable only through the power of Christ at work within us. It cannot be obtained, however, if you and I continue to excuse, pardon, and ultimately tolerate personal sin, refusing to take ownership for it, call it what it is, and be held accountable for it. God can and will work with weak faith, but He won’t work with outright, rebellious disobedience. We should be intolerant of anything in our lives that stands contrary to God’s Word and His commands. This is not a shade of gray area. This is black and white. Sin is sin, and it separates us from God. We must have a conviction about this. We need to start refusing anything less than holy living.
Today, I choose intolerance of personal sin in my life. I am not passing a judgment call on anyone else. This is a personal issue. Will you join me in the pursuit of holiness? Will you refuse to tolerate personal sin any longer? We’ve been called out of darkness. Why, then, do we insist on lingering in it? Today, let us choose to step into our calling – a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.