Have you ever wondered what it means to be holy?
In one of the classes I’m taking this semester, we were given the assignment to explain God’s holiness in simplistic terms to someone with no religious background (like a 10 year old). I did OK on the assignment, but one of my classmates wrote a fantastic description. She has agreed to let me share what she wrote. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
“What qualities or features do you have that make you special and different from others? Think about some words you could use to describe yourself. Maybe you are funny, or have red hair, or are really quiet, or have bright blue eyes. Just like there are words that you can use to describe what you are like, there are also words that we can use to describe what God is like. One word that best describes what God is like is that He is holy. Being holy is the most important quality God has. Holy means that God is set apart from us.
To understand what this means, let’s think about animals at the zoo. Are different kinds of zoo animals put together in one big area or are they set apart from each other? Usually, the different species of animals are separated from each other because they are different from one another. For example, the lions are not mixed with the birds, the reptiles do not live in the same habitat as the elephants, and the giraffes are in a different area than the polar bears. Just like zoo animals are set apart from one another because they are different from each other, God is set apart from us because He is different from us.
Now let’s look at what makes God holy and see how this sets Him apart from us. God is holy, or set apart from us, because He is absolutely pure. To understand what pure means think about the water you drink. If it is clean, clear, and free from anything that could pollute it, we say that the water is pure. God is pure because everything He does is perfect, clean, and good. Even though we might try to always do the good things or make the right choice, the truth is that all of us have made mistakes and have done things we shouldn’t have. Just like pouring dirt into water makes it unclean, our mistakes have made us unclean before God who is absolutely pure. Since we are not completely pure and perfect like God is, He must remain set apart from us so that He can continue to be who He is—a pure, perfect and holy God.” – Jennifer Bush, DTS