Beverly Sinclair was a spinster heiress who lived in a mansion of enormous size during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She is the main character in a short story I wrote a few years ago. She was considered eccentric by folks who knew her, a spooky old witch by children, and foolish by most. Foolish because she – who never married and had no close family – lived with her three cats alone in a 42-room palatial home.
What made her eccentric was that the home wasn’t always so big. When she inherited her fortune from her father, the home was a impressive Victorian-style home with five bedrooms, a parlor, kitchen, dining room, basement, and three bathrooms. Over the years, she added two more wings to the home, including a gymnasium, indoor pool, sunroom, library, two additional kitchens, three formal dining rooms, two more parlors, ten more bedrooms and eleven bathrooms. She would build something one year and tear it down the next. She was never happy with the work, and always improving on it.
It was said that old lady Sinclair, as she was known, kept the same general contractor employed her entire life and that she would never hire anyone else to do the work. She hired him first in 1889 and he was still working on the place when she died in 1943.
Long after she died a girl from the local historical society discovered in her journals that Sinclair had been in love with the contractor but had never told him because she was married. He was the reason she had never married. Hiring him to renovate the home was the only way she could see him. Renovations continued until the day she died.
I did not write the story as an analogy of the Christian life, but when I read Colossians 2:6 and thought of the word built this story came to mind. Our walk with Christ is much the same as this story. When Christ saves us he goes to work on us, tearing out the old and building the new, adding a room here and testing down a room there. He loves us too much to allow us to live a dark, putrid life and we love Him enough to let Him enough to keep working.
Colossians 2:6 reads this way:
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith
The word built in that verse is passive, we do not go build ourselves. Christ builds us and perfects us and does not stop working on us until death. Why? He is building and perfecting His body, His home, die He dwells in us, according to Acts 17:24. We are the temple not built by human hands. What then are we to do in this whole process? Allow Him to continue to work in us. Do not quench the Spirit of God (1 Thessalonians 5:19, Ephesians 6:30).
Besides, how can we, mere humans, expect to improve on what God builds?
Holiness is, perhaps, the most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Anyone who has striven to follow the life of Christ can likely tell you that it is impossible to do. No one can match His love, His grace, or His compassion. For no one but Jesus is perfect. Once the believer is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, though, he or she is filled to the brim with the love of Christ, and desires nothing more than to please God and follow in Christ’s steps. The love of sin is gone. In its place is a love and passion for others. That is Christian Holiness. This is Christian Holiness Daily.