Be sanctified, not selfish.
I see a mindset in the mind of the professing Christian today which essentially is evil. The mindset is one of inordinate lack of thirst for holiness. Particularly in young people in the arena of the discussion of marriage. The institution of marriage is somewhat idolized. If an individual is not seeking marriage, I often see an immaturity which says “since I do not seek it, I do not need to prepare for it.” This stems from a belief that married life differs from single life. But the Christian life is about being sanctified whether your life has been legally bound to another life of the opposite sex or not. The goal of marriage is not primarily to meet mere temporal needs and desires. One of the highest – if not the highest – aims of marriage is the sanctification of the participating individuals. The fact is whether married or single, interested in marriage or not, the goal of the Christian is to be sanctified.
This inordinate lack of thirst for holiness ultimately results in the belief that because one is not aiming to bind oneself to another human soul, one needn’t strive to become an attractive mate. The point of becoming holy is not to become an attractive mate but rather to be sanctified.
Sanctity Is What Is Attractive
As it turns out, the most attractive mates are the most sanctified mates. If becoming an attractive mate is your goal in sanctification, you’re not really being sanctified. So, what does sanctification look like?
Essentially, it looks like shedding every sinful desire to appease the flesh. I listened to a sermon recently which referenced 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 which says, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour” (KJV).
The preacher said the word “fornication” in verse three could be swapped with any of the keywords in the Ten Commandments. We should abstain from idolatry, from taking the Lord’s name in vain, from dishonoring our parents, from murder, from adultery, from bearing false witness, and from inordinate desire. 2 Corinthians 7:1 calls us to cleanse ourselves from bitterness, lying, filthiness, and anything that does not resemble God’s Character. Professing faith in Christ is professing love for Christ. You don’t tell someone you love them then hock some mucus-laden saliva and spit it in their face. The same is true with loving God.
Jesus calls us that “If [we] love” Him, we are to “keep [His] commandments.” Furthermore, answer me this: what honor or sanctity is there in a Christian who makes it a lifestyle to disgustedly berate others, whether in the secrecy of their heart or in the open spaces of two-way communication even if its in the hope that those being berated would stop being “losers”? If your personality is to criticize others whether in a gentle or in a harsh spirit, your personality needs to be altered and your spirit is in grave need of sanctification.
Attract God, Not Mates
We are not saved to remain the way we were saved from. Sure, people are frustrating and they are indubitably taxing in many ways. But that does not license us in any way to live a life characteristically bitter or wrathful. To go about our lives in a manner which speaks only that we are fed up with human stupidity rather than that we are enamored with the holiness of God is not sanctifying at all.
As Christians, our desire is in being sanctified from sin. James 4:17 says “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Brethren, just as our need to call on the name of our Lord for salvation is paramount, our desire and need to be continually sanctified and to continually cast aside the sinful aspects of personalities is paramount.
Being covered by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ does not license to take His Name in vain because “people are losers.” Being saved isn’t just about making sure we know where we’re headed after this life. Being saved is primarily about seeking to make Earth more like Heaven which can only start when we worship Him in our hearts first and foremost. And our treatment of others and how much more seriously we take this life than the Character of God is evocative of our predisposition to the Lord almighty.
Marry to Love God (Not Yourself) More
Christianity is not a mere assortment of lifestyle choices. It’s thankfulness and depthless reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ almighty. If your habit of berating others or any type of “minor” sin is “just your personality,” you need to seriously reconsider whether you love the Lord or not. Preparing for marriage isn’t about a mere cleanup of your lifestyle. It’s a continual tearing down of the old self and a continual building up of a complete adoration for our Lord Jesus Christ. So, stop putting off your sanctification just because you’re “not looking for a relationship right now.”