One of the directives or topics in Scripture that is often overlooked, or skipped as not relevant is holiness. Over time, and with misuse it has become almost tainted. “Holier than thou!” is a pejorative phrase no one wants to hear. It reeks of superiority and pride. The Holiness Movement, which began as an earnest attempt to apply the principles of the Word, soon devolved into outward actions to keep up appearances. In that, it became identified with the Pharisees of old. One could be make-up free, with hair in a bun, but still have unresolved anger and bitterness within. Broken relationships? Well, surely the Lord would understand since they hurt me so! Go apologize to someone on the other side of the church? What? They should be coming over here to me! As Jesus remarked, one could wash the outside of the dish, but it still be filled with all kinds of uncleanness.
We do not fully grasp how much the bitterness and unforgiveness we harbor contaminate our whole being and keep us from true holiness. Rancor and the eventual hatred to which it leads are serious soul defilers, making us unclean like the lepers of old.
We like to proclaim that the work of Jesus on the cross has taken care of all our sin. That is a real feel-good statement. What we choose to ignore often is that our current defilements do two things: they interrupt our fellowship with Father, and the uncleanness darkens a part of our being so that His light does not shine there.