Why don't you talk more about sanctification?
Why don't you focus more on holy living?
Why don't you tell people more and more what they are supposed to do?
These are the sort of questions that I'll often run across, and I'll admit, they always strike me as sort of strange. They are so active and aggressive. They are focused on me and what I do rather than Christ and what He does (He is the one who Sanctifies - we are made to be holy). Am I to tell you how to have better reason to boast?
But it does get me thinking. Do we know what the "sanctified" life would look like? Think about this - how often in the Scriptures is the great and good example not what we'd expect.
It's not the rich who give proudly - it's the unnoticed widow with her mite.
It's not the official from Capernaum making bold demands - it's the humble Centurion.
It's not the servant who says what he does - it's the one who says he's unworthy and simply does as he was told.
It's not the one who does great and obvious works - it's the one who has love.
You know what Holy living looks like? Things I don't notice. Things that don't draw my attention.
Consider the fruits of the Spirit... how often are they noticed, how often do they draw you eye? Folks being peaceful don't draw your attention - the guy shouting angrily does. Folks exercising self-control don't draw your attention - the folk whooping and hollering do.
Call me cynical... but I don't wonder if some of these requests aren't trying to find ways in which the old sinful flesh can find "good" things to do that draw the attention back onto itself. What can I do that I can focus on and see, and that way they'll say good things about me.
There is a famous prayer where we pray for a "quiet and peaceful" life... one that goes by without notice. That's a good thing.
And you are forgiven in Christ. That is what you have. That is what He gives you. It really is all good, it really is all holy already.
God grant that I would learn to see this more and more and notice myself less and less!