Turn up the Light: Sanctification

One of my favorite words to describe content, a service, a product… basically anything is “comprehensive.” It tells me that the subject is good quality and that the creator or curator has put time and effort into even the details.

It’s the difference between a complete and thorough job and one that kind of, sort of makes a bit of a difference.

That’s how I’ve come to think of vulnerability in terms of how it relates to God making us more like Jesus. The more vulnerable we get, the more we put ourselves at God’s disposal to be conformed to the image of His Son. Here’s the illustration I have in my mind:



Light in the night

Imagine you drop a bag of beads in your bedroom. You hear them scatter all over the floor. If you care about the tidiness of your room, you’ll want to pick them up. Unfortunately, it’s night time and your bedroom light is off.

You could feel around for them. You could get a flashlight. You could open the door to let in some light from the next room. Of course, the most obvious solution is to flick the light switch.

The point is that brighter and more all-encompassing the light, the more comprehensive of a job you can do at recovering your beads.

Vulnerability and sanctification

I’ve come to see light and vulnerability as two closely related concepts. In the same way that light illuminates your bedroom and exposes it to your vision, so vulnerability brings our lives to light. It shows us what needs to be changed so we can act accordingly.

I would argue that, as in the illustration, vulnerability comes in layers. The more we let it in, the more we see our sin and the more comprehensively we can deal with it.

Why would we want to deal with it? Would we want to deal with it? That all depends on how much we care about the tidiness of our lives: our sanctification.

Time for some Christian vocabulary

It’s a word used in the Bible (14 times in the NIV); it must be important.

Biblical writers used it to talk about God’s will and the work He does in our lives as born-again believers.

To “sanctify” something is to set it apart for special use; to “sanctify” a person is to make him holy.


Sanctification comes after Jesus has already saved a person and before that person dies or Jesus returns.

Sanctification is not what saves us. If you’re a born-again believer, you were saved when you trusted in Jesus. But even after trusting in Jesus, we continue to sin. Sanctification is God working in us while we are still on this earth to help us start to sin less and become more like Jesus.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

-Romans 8:29

Altogether now

So I’m convinced that the more we get vulnerable, letting God shine His sometimes painful light into our lives, the more He can sanctify us while we’re still on this earth.

So… let’s talk

  • Are you excited about this connection between vulnerability and sanctification… or is it just me?
  • Have you seen the theme of vulnerability come up in your life in any noteworthy way recently?
  • Christian vocabulary like “sanctification”: helpful or confusing?

Resources for deeper digging

Psst! For more on:

  • sanctification defined, see the article from gotquestions.org where I got the quote from. There’s also this article on their sister website. It was written for kids, which means it’s explained in very easy-to-understand terms.
  • vulnerability as a means to purge evil from our lives, I wrote a post some time ago with 3 benefits of vulnerability. Sanctification (or purging out evil) happens to benefit #2, and I didn’t even notice until I was finishing up today’s post. Click here to see my thoughts on 3 benefits of vulnerability.
  • the verse that triggered in me the thought that vulnerability and sanctification are connected this way, see Psalm 27:1



2 thoughts on “Turn up the Light: Sanctification

  1. Girl, did you just link vulnerability and sanctification?! That is amazing – and yes, I’m excited too. 🙂 I thought I knew where you were going with the spilled beads illustration, but I didn’t foresee the ‘tidiness of your room’ part! This just makes vulnerability even more important and life-changing.

    You know I see vulnerability coming up in my life, but lately I’ve been thinking about it more due to a situation recently where I was vulnerable, and the results weren’t (or not as yet anyway) favourable. It makes me rethink before I share something, which probably is a good thing, but it’s brought back fear. Fear of others, or what they will think, or where it will end up, or whether it is really God prompting me to share. But yes, thanks for bringing this topic up again. It reiterates to me that vulnerability is important and something from God, not something I ought to be afraid of.

    And yes to your last question – it’s always helpful to read the definitions of Christian vocabulary again, and see how Biblical concepts link together! Keep allowing God to speak through you, friend! I was really encouraged by this post. xx


    1. You just make me smile, Jessica. 🙂 I mean, anything good I write inevitably comes from God, but your words are just so encouraging! Thank you!

      I don’t know… I think there’s a link! (Well obviously… that’s what I wrote) But I’m wondering if vulnerability is *always* linked to salvation and is *always* from God. Is there a difference between being vulnerable with God, with others… and with ourselves? Or are they all closely connected, anyway?

      I’m sorry about the discouraging (would you call it that?) experience you had with vulnerability recently. I hope that God will redeem it and use it to grow you more.

      I would agree about Christian vocabulary. It’s probably confusing to some new believers and non-believers, but whenever appropriate, I think it’s excellent to use and remind ourselves of these concepts that encompass such rich biblical truths!

      Thank you again for your kind words. ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s