After finishing Grace for the Good Girl the word “holiness” kept rolling around in my head. I’m looking back in my journal on my desk as I type and I wrote “holiness Hebrews 12:14” last Monday but never had the chance to do any research beyond that one verse.
The two seemingly opposing forces that always seem to collide for me is this idea of living the non-perfect, non-good-girl, non-people-pleasing life and yet also fulfilling Jesus’ call to be holy. How do I do both?
So with that background, I was more than happy to accept a review copy of Tyler Braun’s new book Why Holiness Matters. Why Holiness Matters was written specifically to reach Millennials, a generation of people that are seemingly hesitant to even talk about holiness, much less live it out. While I might consider myself just outside the Millennial generation, I found myself challenged and refreshed from this book.
Why Holiness Matters was a great teacher and reminder first of what holiness is and is not. As Tyler says, “Holiness is not new behaviors. Holiness is new affections.” He expands a few chapters later, “The model Christian is not the perfectly tidy man or woman. The model Christian is one who continually seeks after God in the midst of mess, wading through the murky and muddy waters of life scouting after the Divine.”
And why is holiness so important? As Hebrews 12 indicates and Tyler says, “Being around a truly holy person helps us catch a glimpse of Jesus through the window of their lives.” I think this idea is so lost with the upcoming generation. If we are not a people set apart, the next generation will never know what Jesus looks like.
What I love though is he says this is not a call to perfection. It’s a call to affection. Holiness is an outcome of our relationship with Christ.
As a perfect example, in the Values chapter, Tyler talks about traditions that previous generations have held tightly to like modesty. Millennials would say we have freedom but Tyler circles back and explain that it’s not just a checkbox to mark off. As he says, “By valuing modesty we are essentially choosing to live humbly so that our lives may reflect our Father instead of pointing to ourselves.” Being holy is an outcome of a relationship not a standard of perfection.
The chapter “Community” has such an important message for Millennial Christians. More and more are believing that community is not important and Sunday morning church is a thing of the past. Again, many see it as a checkbox but it’s so much more. I wish I could just paste in that whole chapter but here is an excerpt:
Throughout the Bible God refers to His people as a holy nation. No doubt the Bible often refers to holiness in individual ways but what is never lost to God is individual holiness being formed in light of the community. God cannot fully exist without the community of persons within His being, just as we cannot fully exist without the relationships that form our community. It is mutual friendships with one another through
< pursuing continue to us allows that friendship the is it and us, bind>
The last two chapters on mission and artistry were all a call to holiness that the Millennial will appreciate. Millennials do missions and art well and Tyler does a great job of reminding the reader that behind those must come a message of the Gospel.
While the book’s core audience is the Millennial generation, I think we all would do well to read and remember our call to holiness.
From a writing perspective alone, Why Holiness Matters was such a pleasure to read. I love Tyler’s writing voice and his stories were shared with clarity and honesty and yet stayed on point. Even though our stories are quite different, I still found him relatable on many levels. The outline and pace were perfect and I found myself running back to my Kindle at every opportunity to finish, something that doesn’t happen often with non-fiction books. I finished just last night and already have plans to read it again. I can’t recommend Why Holiness Matters enough.
I received a copy of Why Holiness Matters in exchange for this post but all opinions are my own. And I mean it—you need to get this book!