I think the concept of holiness is as important today, as in years past. Let’s consider the importance of holiness in our everyday lives. Prior generations have embraced a concept of a holy life by determining appearances like hair length and certain types of jewelry or a certain ceremony or worship activity to set apart or emphasis holiness. The reality is these may be helpful, but God is much more concerned with our inner man.
When Samuel is selecting David, he ponders how this shepherd boy could be the one that he would select as Israel’s future king. He is small, scrawny, young and not as impressive as his older brothers. But God’s response found in 1 Samuel 16:7 is key, “while man looks at the outward appearance God looks at the heart.” God is much more interested in our inner person than in our outward appearance. David had worshiped God with his harp while watching the sheep, based on writings in the Psalms, he was developing a deep relationship with God. It was a relationship with God that built holiness in his life, not activities, or abstaining from certain types of clothes. The abstinence comes from a man/woman getting hold of God and not a man/woman following manmade guidelines.
The bible is clear, that unless one is holy, a person will not see Lord (see Hebrews 12:14). Some people and Christians seem to debate how grey is too grey, how many of x or y or z can I do or support and remain okay with God (and keep his hand on my life). But this is the wrong focus, a person should pursue God and try to get as close to Him as possible. Closeness in their daily walk, prayer, reading, worship, relationships and much more; instead of focusing on what can I do and still at least remain in His neighborhood. Moses wanted to see God face to face in the Old Testament, I believe that a person that pursues a holy life, will look to see God in every area of their lives and things that hinder that pursuit.
Righteousness simply means being in right standing with God. Not allowing the weight of the world or sin to an any way to inhibit your relationship with God. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). May your hunger and thirst be filled!