You are to be holy . . . because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. (Lev. 20:26)
Expanded Passage: Leviticus 20:26
There was a family in my small midwestern town growing up, named Haskins. The Haskins were known as a family of troublemakers. If you paid attention to the family line, you could easily trace back trouble as far as the Haskins name stretched. One day, when I was in grade school, my mother discovered that I was playing on the playground with one of the Haskins boys. She told me to be very careful because their reputation was poor. She didn’t want me getting involved in any trouble simply because of who I was spending time with.
Our family name can carry many connotations; some of those are fair, and others might be unfair. Who we belong to speaks before we even choose to introduce ourselves to others. The people of Israel—God’s chosen people of the Old Testament—were called by God to be holy. Why? Because they bore his name. When God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt, he laid claim over them and called them to a new way of living.
As Christians, we carry the family name of our God and his people as well. God calls us to be holy because our witness plays a role in how others see God. Being holy is part of our testimony and part of the way in which we belong to God as his people.
Live in the truth that you are part of God’s family.
Chris McFadden is pastor of Cherry Street Wesleyan in Ottawa, Kansas. He is married to his beautiful wife, Suzanne, and has two wonderful daughters, Madelynn and Eleanor.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.