Everyday Sanctity

August 31, 2015

The 45 minute wait time. The stubbed toe. The traffic jam. The report due by 3 p.m. The gossiping relative. The mortgage payment. The gross diaper change. The unexpected car repair. The lost wallet. The rude person at the grocery store. The head cold.

This is the stuff of ordinary life. In each of these moments we are faced with a choice: God’s will or my will, sanctity or sin. We often think saintliness is the product of the right circumstances. If only we had more time, we would pray. If only there were no annoying people, we could love others. If only nothing bad ever happend, we might be thankful and patient.

But holiness isn’t a matter of perfect circumstances. They don’t exist. Holiness is what we do with imperfect circumstances.

Daily life gives us a thousand opportunities to prove we love God. Sadly, we waste most of them, going through life on auto-pilot, responding through instinct and passion and never really choosing to make our lives something more.

A cross is when God’s will and our will intersect and are at odds. Sanctity is when God’s will and our will run parallel to one another. Each day, each moment, we are faced with the choice—embrace God’s will revealed in everyday circumstances, or resist and fight his sanctifying work in our souls. The choice we make determines our fate.

The proving ground for holiness? The fiery forge that makes saints? It isn’t some painless utopia where everything goes our way. No, it is nothing other than the often irritating, painful, frustrating circumstances of everyday, humdrum life.

What will you do with them?

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. Gab says

    I was vaguely thinking about this minutes before I came across the link to this article on facebook. Thank you very much. I will stop looking for ease and appreciate the circumstances that come my way. God is with me and I believe He wants me to be closer to Him. Amen

  2. mithriluna says

    A very timely post. I woke up with a head cold this morning and was milking the “poor me” attitude and using it as an excuse to laze around (namely not pray).

  3. Jon Stallings says

    Powerful statement we should all take to heart, “But holiness isn’t a matter of perfect circumstances. They don’t exist. Holiness is what we do with imperfect circumstances.”

  4. Rob says

    I have often thought of this as well. Christianity isn’t just about what you say in the church, its what you practice in heavy traffic. Kindness, humbly not taking things personally, knowing you have the right away but not screaming at the guy who took it first, being prudent and leaving a little space, generously practicing ‘After you!’ and blessing those that need it instead of cursing at them. Its the “Merge and let merge” attitude that gets everyone down the road safely.

  5. Linda Smith says

    The events of the past several weeks had me in a whirlwind!!! It was one bad thing after another – seven things in a row – I was livid!!! Then I came across this article and it blew me away!! My eyes have opened and I get it now!! Life isn’t always a bed of roses ——- so we learn to take one day at a time and deal with each day.

  6. Marian Green says

    Thank you for that post. So often we fashion our own “comfortable” form of holiness that is nowhere near the Lord’s plan for us. Life is full of opportunities, in “bad” times and good for loving God. Mostly it’s an uphill struggle, but in the struggle is the love.
    I would like to be able to write about these issues as you do but for the moment just write to give people a little joy.
    See my words at:

  7. kidlathabagat says

    Thank you Sam for this. The past days were very hard for me. The traffic situation in our country is hopeless. Being stuck in a jam packed bus for hours is literally torture for us commuters. And the traffic management doesn’t care at all. And it’s tormenting me not only physically, mentally but also spiritually. And last night as I pray, I ask Him to give me something to continue because I’m beginning to give up.
    God bless you.


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