If someone called you "holy" would you consider it to be a compliment? It would probably depend on two things. First, it would depend on whether another word was attached to the word holy, such as, "a holy roller" or "holier than thou" or a "Holy Joe". In these cases the term would be considered derisive . . .a negative connotation. And secondly it would depend on the person's definition of holiness. In the mind of many, "holy" means; narrow-minded, uptight, judgmental, detached, Victorian and other negative words. In this case being called holy would not be a compliment. But if you were called holy in the Biblical sense, it would be a great compliment . . . one we might be very uncomfortable with.
Of all the attributes of God . . . holiness is the one that seems to take center stage. Most of you know that in the Hebrew language to repeat a word is to emphasize it. For example if you said a stone was big it would mean one thing. If you said the stone was big big . . . you would mean it was a really big stone. If it was big, big, big, it would mean that it was a gigantic boulder.
In Isaiah 6 and in Revelation 4 the angels declare that God is "holy, holy, holy". This is the only attribute of God that is emphasized in this way. God is never called "Love, love, love," or "mercy, mercy, mercy". Therefore, if we want to know God we must understand the idea of God's holiness.