Striving for holiness in a world with yoga pants and skinny jeans PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 13:06

There is a worship song I love to sing, “Holiness, Holiness, is what I long for, Holiness is what I need. Holiness, Holiness is what I live for, Holiness is what You want for me!”

When I sing those words I really do mean them, or I want to!

I truly long for Holiness in my life, but admittedly living a life of holiness is hard in a world where every direction I look, there is a potential stumbling block.

I would like to tell you that at least church is a safe haven and modesty can be found inside those walls, but it’s not always a safe zone either.

I figured the title of this piece “The difficulty of Striving for Holiness in a world with yoga pants and leggins” would raise a few eyebrows.

I have heard some female friends say, “If you can’t achieve Holiness because of what I am wearing, that’s a flaw in your faith walk and has nothing to do with me!”

I don’t argue that point!

The Apostle Paul agrees! He says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 when we see something that tempts us we are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.“

It’s not news to me as a follower of Christ that when my thought pattern begins to go in a different direction it’s my responsibility to take it captive!

If that approach doesn’t work, Paul gives us a plan B in 1 Corinthians 6:18. He says (my paraphrase) “if you can’t take that thought captive, then flee from it!”

So it is on me, but it’d be nice to have a little help in the modesty department from some of my sisters in Christ.  I let a sister in Christ read this to make sure it wasn’t offensive and she admitted to wishing for a little help from the fellas who also distract with skinny jeans of their own!

It’s on me and it’s on her! Just like it’s on me to ignore the box of donuts at church, and to drive past the five fast food restaurants on the way to work, but it’s hard. It’s so very hard!

It’s hard to be healthy in a world saturated with unhealthy food and it’s hard to live for Holiness in a world saturated with things that lead to unholy thoughts! Those unholy thoughts sometimes lead to unholy actions.

Paul understood that too and from what I gather in the Bible, he struggled, too!

In Romans 7 he says, “14 We know that the Law is spiritual, but I’m made of flesh and blood, and I’m sold as a slave to sin. 15 I don’t know what I’m doing, because I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do the thing that I hate. 16 But if I’m doing the thing that I don’t want to do, I’m agreeing that the Law is right. 17 But now I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it’s sin that lives in me. 18 I know that good doesn’t live in me—that is, in my body. The desire to do good is inside of me, but I can’t do it. 19 I don’t do the good that I want to do, but I do the evil that I don’t want to do. 20 But if I do the very thing that I don’t want to do, then I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it is sin that lives in me that is doing it.”

So what do we do?

I think first we need to pray for God to help us through those struggles.

Then we try to make sure we are taking lots of good in, which I think helps control our thought pattern. I was challenged once by a teenager to give up secular music for Lent. I did and my thought pattern was totally changed.

Another thing I know that helps me is accountability partners!

When I told my church family once that my diabetes had gotten out of control and my blood sugar numbers were at dangerous levels, they began to pray for me, but they also took action.

When we would have pitch-ins, they would have low carbs options.

There also always seemed to be a few people who I called the “Carb Police” who monitored the desserts to make sure I didn’t eat anything I wasn’t supposed to.

They knew I was striving for a life where my blood sugar numbers were lower. I didn’t always like the special menu options nor being monitored as I selected my food, but I needed that accountability.

In the same way I need accountability for what I watch and where my eyes wander.

Some will read this and say, “George is a part-time pastor, he isn’t supposed to struggle!” That’s an unfair measuring stick to hold me and other pastors to.

Because like Paul, I know what I am supposed to do, and do what I know I shouldn’t do. I am thankful that sometimes when I fall short, God picks me up, dusts me off, and sets me back on the right track.

He knows there are temptations lurking at every corner. He knows there are things throughout my day that make me angry. There will be things that make me doubt, but He also knows my heart and that I desire Holiness. I just hope He also knows how difficult Holiness is to achieve in a world with Yoga Pants and (according to my sister) skinny jeans!

If you are trying to live a life pleasing to God, tell me how you do that at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it