Distinctive Living

Posted on: September 16th, 2012

In many ways a Christian’s life is not too unlike everyone else. Our daily routine mimics what most people do in that we get up in the morning, go to work, and then come home. We enjoy spending time with our family and friends. Christians face the same trials, the ups and downs of life, and know the joys and sorrows of living. We make choices, sometimes the right one and sometimes the wrong one, and so we either benefit or pay the price for our decisions.

The point is, a casual glimpse at a Christian’s life may not reveal too many differences between him and others. It is because we live in the same world and must follow the rules of society. In fact, we should not go out of our way to stand out just to call attention to ourselves (Matt. 23:5). However, we realize there are some big differences between God’s people and those outside of Christ (2 Cor. 6:14-18).

You are not a misfit because of your faith and life-style. Instead, God teaches us to reach for the best qualities of life in both actions and approach (1 Peter 1:13-16). So when people carefully look at you they see someone unlike most because of your godly commitment (Matt. 5:16). Yes, you are visibly different because God rules your life.

We are to separate ourselves from the vices of this world (1 John 2:15-17). While non-Christians may have some good traits and behave properly at times, God’s people reach for a virtue unattainable by society. It is a goodness based on our love for God and His Word. In other words, we do right for the correct reasons.

God’s people do the best they can and always give their highest effort (Col. 3:23-24). While some may do this when convenient or when others are looking, Christians always try to give it their best. So you will put in an honest day’s work, go the extra mile, and never cheat or steal from your company. You will not be among the slackers when volunteering for a worthy cause. Others see in your life a consistent commitment, honesty, and reliability.

Profanity is no longer frowned on as it once was and has become the ordinary way many express themselves. Men and women alike use all kinds of filthy words when angry, surprised, or just in everyday conversation. You cannot go to a ball game, restaurant, or store without the danger of hearing someone spew bad language. But as a Child of God, you will not be the one using this language (Col. 3:8). You understand the power of words and how your choices affect the way people look at you.

Nudity is rampant and people see nothing wrong with taking their clothes off. Go to any beach or lake and you will see men and women in different stages of undress. The design and intent of swimwear is to sexually arouse and, whether the wearer means it or not, that is exactly what they do. This is not just the opinion of some prudish Christian, but even society and designers admit this point. The following are titles to some article I found on the Internet; The Bikini Effect Makes Men Impulsive, Sexualizing to Sell Swimwear, and Get Noticed on the Beach in Sexy Swimwear. And then from another article simply entitled One Piece Swimwear, “One piece swimwear for many people are comfortable and yet seductive.” All of these articles promote bathing suits and talk about their sexuality.

Christian men and women will stay covered. They respect God’s teaching on modesty and what He says about nudity (Gen. 3:21). In our society men get away with more nudity than women because most see nothing wrong with men going around without a shirt. Such is not according to the Bible which teaches us to cover ourselves from the chest down to the knees (Isaiah 47:2-3).

Brothers and sisters keep your word (James 5:12). The world has made an art out of lying and deception. Consider the frequency with which people try to manipulate contracts or simply refuse to keep their part of the deal. Many do not hesitate to give their word only to break their promise. But as a Child of God, you will stand out as a person of integrity and honesty.

Godly parents discipline and support their children as they grow (Eph. 6:4). Our young people need guidance and order in their lives, because without it they have little chance. Without parental involvement most children do not do well in school and have a difficult time fitting in. They fail to learn about respecting and obeying authority. God says “a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Prov. 29:15). Remember, Children are our heritage from God. People notice the job you are doing as a parent.

It is hard to go through life and not upset someone. How we handle problems and disagreements is important, and so a Child of God will rise above the fray. We seek peace when there is strife (1 Peter 3:11). We would rather suffer wrong than to hurt someone else (1 Cor. 6:7). Approach others with humility, compassion and love even when they may not deserve your kindness (Matt. 5:44). By all means, make sure you are not the cause of another’s ill will (Rom. 12:18).

Some people claim to believe in Christ and say they are faithful Christians, but their actions say otherwise. They seldom attend or routinely miss worship. It is nothing for them to put the cares of this world before service to God. As a member of God’s family, you will make every effort to attend every service (Heb. 10:24-25). You do not want to miss even one time, but if you must there is a sense of regret.

Yes, a Child of God appears much like everyone else in many ways, but there are also many distinguishing features in his life. This is where the idea of “letting your light shine” comes into play. Do others see Christ in your choices and life? If they do not, they should.

Terry Starling