The movie Julie and Julia is about one woman’s quest to find meaning and significance in her life by cooking her way through Julia child’s cookbook on French cuisine, and blogging about the experience. In doing so, the character, Julie Powell, and presumably the real-life version of her, learns about what’s truly important and meaningful to her.
Throughout her blogging journey, Julie includes tales of her husband’s help in producing the fine cuisine. Repeatedly she calls him “a saint.” Later, in a burst of anger, he rejects this title and in fact emphatically asks that she stops using it. He contends that it represents an inaccurate portrayal and puts him up on a pedestal off which he is bound to fall.
Now, without dissecting Eric Powell’s line of reasoning, its easy to understand what prompted him to deny his own sainthood. After all, while we all want people to think well of us, we also want them to have realistic expectations. Perhaps the fear of failure is a tad bit stronger then fear of personal rejection.
Upon watching this movie unfold, I was reminded of the fact that Christians also want to refute the title of saint. Perhaps this is because some religious traditions teach that sainthood is reserved for a select few who have been formally canonized. Or perhaps, just like the character of Eric Powell, we are concerned about what that title will do to our reputation. However, Scripture doesn’t seem to share our concerns. Throughout God’s Word, His people are identified as saints (See Psalm 30:4; Psalm 31:23 and Romans 1:7 among others). If God Himself identifies His children as being saints, why should we reject it?
Instead, we should consider this holy title as a call to live our lives according to the ways of saints. Will we be able to do it perfectly? No. Will we be able to do so in increasing degrees? Yes – through God’s own work. And perhaps, just perhaps, accepting this designation will spur us on to live a live worthy of the title He’s bestowed.