Have you ever read the newspaper and then noticed the dark ink on your fingers? It rubs off on your hands. Or what about leaning against a white-washed wall – then you notice the white dust on your clothes. Things are always rubbing off on you. People do too. Maybe you notice how when you’ve been with someone for a long time suddenly something you do is just like them. Or you reflect on how much your nature is like your parents, or your spouse. People rub off on you too. Why? Because we tend to become like the people we spend time with.
Subtly, your nature and behavior begin to change as you live with another person, or spend a lot of time with them. That’s especially true if you love them or respect them highly. If other people can have such a big impact on shaping your life, just imagine the effect when you are with God! Another person may affect your words and speech, or perhaps how you use your time and even your attitude. But God will affect your very nature. Being in close proximity to God will cause a transformation of nature at the most fundamental level. What’s important to Him will become important to you. And God’s own nature will suddenly start showing up in yours. Chief among the characteristics of God is His holiness. And that will rub off on you too.
It’s one thing to read the injunction in I Peter to be holy as God is holy. It’s quite another to live it. Most will try to exert more energy to try to be holy or do better things to pursue it. But that will only yield a heavy yoke of rules and regulations that will keep your mind spinning in an effort to comply. In reality being holy is not about how well you can do holy things, but it’s about how much of God rubs off on you. When you are with the Holy God, you will be holy just like He is holy. It’s a natural description of what happens.
When you hold onto God, His holiness rubs off; when you lean on God, His holiness rubs off; when you are simply with God, His holiness rubs off. You get it on your hands, on your behaviors, and in your very nature. Pretty soon you start to see traces of God’s holiness coming through in your life – and so do others!