Many people think sanctification is only a personal matter between themselves and God. This is not true. Every decision that we make, public or private, has implications that go beyond the immediate. You see, true fellowship with Christ is what makes for right relationship with others. When we neglect or abandon our spiritual responsibilities, we are not the only ones who will feel it. Other people will inevitably suffer too. This is especially true when we live in covenant community. When we tremble at God’s Word and esteem Him more than the passing pleasures of this world — when we flee darkness and chose instead to walk in light and truth — the glory of God, not selfish gain, becomes the goal. This bears a tremendous influence on our ability to pray for and love others sincerely. In the following Puritan prayer, we feel the heart cry of a saint panting for holiness. It is the deepest yearning of every Christian to be kept from temptation and sin. But beyond this longing is the godly recognition that the well-being of others is directly related to our sanctification. The souls who have been providentially placed in our lives – at home, at church, in our community, in the workplace have been entrusted to our care by Almighty God. Are we being faithful stewards by diligently keeping our hearts? We do not live in a vacuum. Other people are wrapped up with us and therefore their lives will be effected by how aggressive we are when it comes to killing sin and pursuing holiness. Sanctification is not just a private matter. May God, by His grace, cause us to repent and mourn over those who have suffered because of our lack of diligence. May we say ‘No’ to ungodliness and instead live self-controlled, godly, and upright lives (Titus 2:1). It matters.
“Help me to hate and forsake every false way
to be attentive to my condition and character,
to bridle my tongue,
to keep my heart with all diligence,
to watch and pray against temptation,
to mortify sin,
to be concerned for the salvation of others.
O God, I cannot endure to see the destruction
of my kindred.
Let those that are united to me in tender ties
be precious in thy sight and devoted to thy glory.
Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion,
instruction, discipline, example,
that my house may be a nursery for heaven,
my church the garden of the Lord,
enriched with trees of righteousness of
thy planting, for thy glory …”
The Valley of Vision, “The Family”, pages 208-209