Same Difference

Same Difference

Have you heard the response, “Same difference”? Growing up, this was a common response. The technical definition of this paradoxical statement is after you gave an answer you were then corrected. By saying, “same difference,” you are saying, “OK, there is a difference, but I still don’t care.” In other words, “Whatever!”

A good practice in Bible study is to keep an eye on patterns and repetition. This is such an enlightening method, almost like the lighthouse’s rhythmic strobe. Repetition systematically guides your study to help you avoid the rocks. A keyword suddenly and intensely appears in Leviticus 21-22. It is the word “profane” which is used sixteen times in Leviticus. The Hebrew word means “pollute, defile, desecrate.” The beauty of picturing this word though does come to us from the Latin. “Profane” is a latin word meaning “before the temple.” All the people, but especially the priests, were urged to live distinct in all areas of their lives so that they would not profane the name of the Lord. There was an imaginary line drawn around the Tabernacle and everything within that perimeter must be holy. Otherwise, sudden death would occur. Holy living within that Tabernacle would be service out of fear alone. The true test of one’s devotion to God is how one lives outside the perimeter of the sacred.

In other words, living holy outside of the Tabernacle meant your service to God was more than just duty. Your service had blossomed into devotion. There is a difference between the sacred sphere and the secular sphere only when one is bound by duty and never matures to devotion. The distinction only exists for those who are content to do their duty but desire personal space from God. They need a time-out from God.

Most worshipers would never dream of allowing the profane into their churches, but what about their personal lives? Why should there be a distinction between the sacred and secular? If our lives, our bodies, are the temple of the Holy Ghost, then no such distinction truly exists. It is a figment of our design in order to keep God out of our personal space. In Ezekiel, God takes the prophet on a tour of the Temple. What he sees is horrific! Within the Temple stand idols and the people are worshiping the sun and animals. The profane was no longer outside of the Temple. It was now within the Temple! All of a sudden, there was no distinction between the sacred and the secular but in the wrong way.

Will your life’s response be, “Same difference”? Are you living with an imaginary distinction between what is sacred and what is secular? The command for holiness has no limitation or boundary.

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