Lent. What does God call us to do? The obvious answer is repent. True enough, but repentance can be done too easily, too superficially. In fact, we can actually repent in a way deceives us. Lent is a penitential season and repentance is what we do, I stress do, in penitential seasons. Doing repentance is not enough. 1 Peter 1:15-17 says, “As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.”
“Be holy.” It reminds me of a time many years ago. Diane and I were squabbling about something and it finally dawned on me. The problem wasn’t so much what I had done; the problem was me. I did what I did because that’s who I am. Same way with true repentance. What we do wrong with our hands, our eyes, our words…they’re just symptoms of what’s deep down in our hearts. “Be blameless,” (Genesis 17:1) Be holy.