Posted by: Susan Gaddis | August 22, 2009

Holy Is Different Than Good

1075971_toes_in_the_grassHoly is different than good.

Good defines things–living things, nonliving things, time and space. Holy separates and completes things–living things, nonliving things, time and space.

Good needs holy in order to be complete.

Concerning the seventh day of creation, Kathleen Casey notes, “He made the Sabbath holy, which means ‘to make whole.’ Rest makes the work of creation ‘whole.’ Rest is holy when it balances work, and work is not complete until it is balanced by rest. Creation was not complete or holy until there was the Sabbath rest.” –Kathleen Casey in Sabbath Presence

Taking a Sabbath once a week is good. Resting on the Sabbath is holy.

How often do we really rest on our Sabbath? Do you feel rested when you go to work after your Sabbath? If not, you might want to examine your “stop day” to see what is causing the lack of real rest. Here are some rest blockers that might be responsible for keeping your good day from becoming a holy day:

Worry–you are working in your emotions and mind. Let God handle the person or situation that is troubling you. He can oversee the problem on your Sabbath. After all, He is God.

Errands–you are working in little areas that are trivial. Leave the errands for a work day.

Obligations–you are serving others or yourself without the ability to say “no.” Learn to say, “No, that isn’t going to work for me today.”

Commitments–good things are wearing you out such as committing to your children’s soccer games or long trips. You are not stopping if you are going all day long.

Holy is different than good. I’m still learning the difference. How about you?



  1. It is a good distinction to make between what is good and what is holy. How many times do we hear folks say that they think God will accept them to His holy place–heaven–because they are a good person. We often fail at the consistently “good” part, but to be “set apart” as a holy one because of His grace, that is certainly praiseworthy. The emphasis on the set apart day of rest is sadly something lost to our generation. Lord, help!

    • That is so true, Lily. I wonder how many people we asked, “Do you think you are holy enough to get into heaven?,” would answer yes? The whole idea of holy, meaning “to separate or set to the side” and “to make complete,” really flies in the face of one who thinks they can get to heaven on their own merits. It just ain’t gonna happen without grace.

      Finding a day to set apart is lost to our generation and the next, unless we model it. Stress is killing us as Americans. We need to regain the whole practice of a Sabbath day. Folks need to find a day to stop and rest regularly!

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