God had Peter record a challenging task for those who would be His. It appears early in Chapter 1 of his first letter.
“Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16*
Maybe you read those words the way I did for many years.
“Be perfect, because I am perfect.”
Firefighters know that a room in a building can heat up to the point of ignition with no visible evidence. Not even smoke. And if oxygen is introduced by opening a door or breaking a window, flames can envelop the entire area almost instantaneously.
The backdraft phenomenon can happen to people. I know because it happened to me.
We’re making our way through life and one thing after another goes wrong, expectations mount, and desperation threatens. It feels as if we’re running the gauntlet.
The phrase describes a type of corporal punishment practiced as early as the Roman military. It appears in European history as well as US and naval history. Men were stationed in a double line, often armed with a weapon—a club, rope, leather strap, cat o’ nine tails, or fists. A guilty prisoner or offending individual was sent down the pathway to be beaten as he passes.