The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry. (Ps. 34:15)

“Honey, put on this T-shirt,” my mom would order when we were at the beach or pool. Oh, how I hated that. My ultra-fair skin had already been doused in sunscreen and my nose tattooed with zinc. Why did I have to wear my dad’s stupid old shirt anyway? No one else had to cover up like this.

Often in Scripture, holiness is simply commanded. We just have to obey. Other times, our holiness is shown as what should be a natural response to God’s holiness. But in Psalm 34, we see a different side of holiness. Here we discover the benefit it has for us. Our lives are more blessed when we follow God’s ways: our days are better, the Lord hears and delivers us, He feels closer, He protects us, our foes will be defeated, and we will not be condemned.

I whined about the T-shirt requirement when I played in the water. But every time I thought I could get away without it, sure enough, I’d end up burnt. Looking back, my mom was saving me a lot of pain. And now that I’m older, I don’t have to worry as much about lingering sun damage. It’s the same with holiness. When we live as God recommends, we reap benefits that last for years and avoid pain both now and in the future.

Reflect on how you have been blessed through the benefits of holiness.

Diane Gardner lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she enjoys theater, community events, and watching the sun set over the bay.