Yesterday I was having a discussion with one of my friends about the way that Christ called us to live, and how society calls us to live. This lead me to question: Who defines me? Society or Christ?
In today’s society, we are told that it’s okay to drink before the legal age; that it’s okay to have sex before marriage; that it’s okay to slander and gossip about people; that it’s okay to lie, cheat and steal, as long as you aren’t caught.
What does this say about us as a world? I was raised in a family where these things were unacceptable, but I found myself breaking the rules. I’m not going to lessen the fact that I’m a sinner. Yes, I’ve had alcohol before the legal age of 21. Yes, I’ve lied, and cheated. I stole a pack of gum when I was two years old. I’ve slandered and gossiped, done intentionally and subconsciously. I know that at times I’ve told myself that all of that is okay to get away with once and a while because I’ve chosen to save myself for marriage. That’s what we’ve learned, isn’t it? We try to justify our sins by placing a weight on them.
“I’m better than her because I’ve only lied..she’s been with 10 people.”
“God will forgive my sins, because they aren’t as bad as his.”
This is such a wrong way of thinking. And Christ came to change that.
At the Sermon on the Mount, when He was speaking the Beatitudes (Matthew 3, and following chapters), He proposed a new way of doing things. Even thousands of years ago, people sinned the same sins that we do now. And Christ knew this. That’s why He came; to save us. We needed to be saved, and without Him, we would certainly be lost forever.
In my life right now, I feel like I’m letting the world define me. I feel burdened, downtrodden and lost. I go through periods when I feel like I don’t need God; where I’d rather live my life, my way, because I know that at the end of the day, He is still going to forgive me, or simply because I feel like I’ve fallen too far from His grace.
I’ve learned that even though I’ve been saved by the blood of Christ, I need to be continually washed by the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. The blood cleaned us all, once and for all, but the Holy Spirit remains within us, now and forever. If I taught myself to listen more closely, and follow His guidance, then I could live the life that Christ called me to live.
Christ told us: above all, love your God and love your neighbors; don’t judge others; don’t slander; don’t pride ourselves on our own lives; pray in the quiet where no one can see us; think with pure thoughts; serve each other; pray for those who persecute us; if we are struck on one cheek, to present the other, etc.
This would be such a beautiful way to live.
My prayer is that I will open my eyes to the things that God is trying to do in my life; that I will try to live as righteously as Christ would want me to; that I would put other’s needs before my own; and that I would love God with my whole heart. I’m not interested in the things of this world, but it’s so easy to be consumed by them. I take heart in the fact that all of this is temporary, and that one day I will see the face of God. I want Him to be able to say, “Well done, my Good and Faithful Servant,” instead of, “Why did you choose the temporary, worldly, un-lasting things, rather than what is everlasting?”
I want to be defined by Christ; I will not be defined by this world.