Seven Habits of Highly Holy People
By Henry Nelson | August 1, 2009
Colossians 3:16“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teachand admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”I had the opportunity to attend a training program sometime ago which was based on the Stephen R. Covey, book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” The book is saturated with advice on leadership, life management and relationships, all centered around the “inside-out” concept that old behavior is learned, it is not instinctive. Old habits can be discarded and replaced by new and effective habits. The habits he outlined are; Initiative; Creativity; Productivity, Interdependence; Empathy; Valuing Differences and Consistency.Let me ask you a question; if you were to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be? According to Covey, If you exhibit these seven habits in your daily life, you could rightly describe yourself in the one word, “Effective”How does scripture want us to be able to define ourselves? I think Christ like sums it up pretty well and if nothing else Christ was “Holy”, that is separate, different. I would venture a guess that few if any in this place defined themselves as “Holy,” but as Christians we are called to live a holy life. Look at 1st Peter 1:15-16, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Amen! You may ask why be Holy? It is because God is Holy. But the question then becomes, “How can I know if I’m ‘Holy’ or not?” Just as Stephen Covey outlined the seven habits of highly effective people, I want to outline for you The Seven Habits of Highly Holy People. These will serve as a measuring stick to help you determine the areas in your life that are in need of strengtheningHabit #1 Highly Holy People understand Scripture as the guide for their daily lives. Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.” Amen!Highly Holy People Love God’s word. They cannot get enough of it. They base their lives on it. It is a part of them. They know that it has the power to protect them from all kinds of junk in life. Psalm 119:11 says,” I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you and they share it whenever possible.” The study and application of the Scriptures is a habit with Highly Holy PeopleHabit #2 Highly Holy People daily seek God in prayer. 1st Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Pray continually.” If your lives are to be defined as “Holy” you must be a people of prayer because Prayer is our half of a lifelong conversation with God? It is how we develop a relationship with the creator of the universe.My Grandparents were holy people in the area of prayer. I can still remember hearing grandma and grandpa practically screaming their prayers. They wept before God on behalf of my family and me. They understood the power of prayer and its necessity for everyday living. Parents and Grandparents let your children hear you pray. Expose them to the discipline of prayer. They understood that Prayer is the well of life for the Christian. The church wants you to have that opportunity. Youth, Singles, Men, and Women all should have set times of prayer, because it is understood that a life of prayer leads to a life of holiness. Prayer is a Habit with Highly Holy PeopleHabit #3 Highly Holy People are devoted to following Christ no matter what. 2nd Timothy 2:8-9says, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal.” Amen! Highly Holy People realize that being a Christian is not always a cakewalk, but they do it anyway because of their devotion to Christ and because they recognize it as an association with Jesus’ suffering. They endure because they know what Christ went through and they are willing to do the same and because they are devoted to following him no matter what, but more than just enduring hardship, Highly Holy people are devoted to Christ because they understand that in him alone is an eternal reward. John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Amen! Devotion to Christ springs from a desire to identify with him and then live with him eternally. Unconditional devotion to Jesus Christ is a Habit with Highly Holy People.Habit #4 Highly Holy People live each day guided by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, live by the Spirit. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”Amen! To live by the Spirit means that our lives evidence that which defines the person of the Holy Spirit namely the “Fruit of the Spirit” which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. A life defined by these traits is a life defined by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit is a Habit with Highly Holy PeopleHabit #5 Highly Holy People are accountable to God’s house and His people. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.” I have heard it said that being in church no more makes one a Christian than being in McDonalds makes one a hamburger. That is quite true. However, Holy people understand the benefit of being with God’s people. Paul says that the church is like a body. All of us are members of it. If church is not a habit but an occasional thing, then make it a habit. Parents, if you want your kids hanging around the right kind of people, make sure they are in church. By doing so, you cultivate holiness in their lives as well as your own. Be there for everything you can. Find a place to get involved. Find your place of ministry and be faithful to it. Faithfulness to God’s house is a Habit with Highly Holy People.Habit #6 Highly Holy People are obedient in separating themselves from the spirit of the world. 1st Thessalonians 4:3 says,” It is God’s Will that you should be sanctified. A life of personal purity is absolutely required of Holy people. Sexual impurity is rampant, even in the church. If you are to be effective minister of the Gospel you must crucify your flesh and work toward presenting your body as living sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. You cannot do that and live a life of sexual impurity. Young or old, single or married, male or female, sexual purity is a must if we are to be defined as holy people.A Holy life has been sanctified, set apart, for God’s service. It is a life that puts self to death and seeks to be pure and acceptable to God. We live in an age of godlessness, where men and women are more concerned with the immediate than with the eternal. The spirit of this world is an impure spirit of selfishness and it is the antithesis of holiness. Separation from the spirit of the world is a Habit with Highly Holy People.Habit #7 Highly Holy People seek to serve the body out of thanks to God. 2nd Corinthians 9:8-13 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.Everyone of us has been gifted in one way or another. Some are pastors, some teachers, some evangelists. Some are hospitable, some are giving, and some are helpful. This list could go on. The point is that Highly Holy People do what they can to determine the spiritual gifts with which they have been gifted and then seek to put those gifts to use within the Body of Christ. Why? So that, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ.Without that obedience your confession is hollow. It is incumbent upon the Child of God to seek out a place of service. God did not give you spiritual gifts so that you could enjoy having them but so that you could enjoy using them. Service to the Body of Christ is a Habit with Highly Holy People. If God did not intend for us to be holy people he would not have commanded us to be so. The fact that he gave the command is indication that he has made it possible. Part of living a life of holiness is developing habits in our lives that are holy. However, if you try to do these things on your own, you are doomed to fail. Only Christ living in our lives can make holiness a reality for sinful humanity because he works from the inside-out. Amen!Someone once said that “The Lord works from the inside-out. The world works from the outside in. The world will take the people out of the slums, but Christ takes the slums out of people and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world shapes human behavior, but Christ can change human behavior.” Now you know the Seven Habits of Highly Holy People. Amen!