I imagine the first time you really understood that word was when they put that tiny, squirming baby in your arms. Suddenly you understood that it was your responsibility to care for another human being, one who was completely helpless and dependent. It wasn’t like a friend who was having a problem so you spent some time with him and then went home to your own life again. This was a responsibility that completely changed your life—your schedule, your budget, your chores, even your habits.
I bet you said, “I have to stop (blank)ing now.” You didn’t want your child to develop those same bad habits you were always fighting and suddenly you had the motivation to deal with them.
I bet you sacrificed a lot of things. Suddenly spending an hour to put on makeup wasn’t quite so important. Suddenly you forgot to watch a few ball games on Saturday. Suddenly you didn’t need to eat out quite so often, or see so many movies, or go shopping as much.
I bet you suddenly felt a love you never even knew existed before then, something nearly overpowering in its strength. While the word onus means a “burden” of responsibility, I bet you never thought of it that way once. You were happy to do those things for that precious child.
I was studying a few weeks ago and came upon something that put another onus on me. Once I really understood what I was reading, I actually shivered a little and felt a peculiar sensation in the pit of my stomach.
…That they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me, Acts 26:18.
We are “sanctified” by faith. Okay, so we are “set apart,” (yawn). What of it?
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, Matt 6:9.
The Greek word for “sanctified” is the same Greek word translated “hallowed.” We are “sanctified” just like God’s name is “hallowed.” Do you realize the burden that places on us in our behavior? Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, Paul says in Phil 1:27.
Suddenly our lives should have changed. We should have been anxious to rid ourselves of the bad habit of sin. Worldly affairs should have found their correct place on the bottom of our priority list. Sacrificing for a Lord who sacrificed Himself for us should have come naturally, and an overpowering love and gratitude should have overwhelmed us.
That’s what should have happened. Did it? Maybe this little reminder will help. God expects you to be as hallowed, as sanctified, as His name is. We always told our boys, “Remember who you are.”
All of us need that reminder.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:14-19.
Now read all those underlined phrases one after the other. That is the onus that is placed upon you.