I want to start this post out by letting you all know right now that I am not pointing fingers. I am just as guilty as the next guy, er...gal, at being hypocritical. This is just something that I am seeing all too often these days, and I think that it is high time we all wake up to this fact and get right.
hypocrite - hyp·o·crite [hip-uh-krit] noun; a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
This is such a touchy subject, but I'm going to dive right in. First: If you are a believer in Christ, who has been saved by the blood that He shed, and have accepted that, you are proclaiming remissions of your sins through His sacrifice, and that should NOT be taken lightly. We have been called to be the light of the world, but we are no different than the world! I know you have heard this a million times in church, but I want this to hit home with you today. You are the example of Christ to the world, we've been told to be in the world but not OF the world, therefore we must be different than the world, right?
Now, that being said, what exactly do you have to do to meet the "standards" set by this? Do you have to be perfect? No. Do you have to be holy? No again. You don't have to be Jesus to represent Jesus. But He has made a point to tell you what things to do and to avoid. Here is a rundown:
- Sexual Sins (homosexuality, lusts of the flesh, pornography and that which is LIKE pornography which leads to impure thoughts, adultery, sex outside of marriage, and any assortment of perverse sexual activities that I don't want to have to go into)
- Greed and Covetousness (greed whether outright or those thoughts of 'he/she doesn't deserve that job')
- Idolatry (in the forms of placing people/things/thoughts and ideas above God with your time, money, or attention)
- Anger (in the form of slander, gossip, bigotry, racism, hatred, rage, ill will towards others)
- Deceit (telling lies or even hiding damaging truths, or stealing)
- Love (showing respect, love, affection, care, and hospitality towards all others,whether friend or foe)
- Be outward in your faith (pray for yourself and others, share your faith and belief with others, spend time with God and in His Word, acts of service for others)
The most amazing thing about these two lists, even though it seems there are more "don'ts" than "do's" is that by doing the second list, you are almost entirely abolishing the acts in your life that make up the first list!
Ok, so I've dumped a lot of you just now, so I've decided to make this into a series. Coming up in the future, I will go into What each of the "don'ts" entail, and then what part of the "do's" will eliminate those actions and thoughts.
I leave you with this, in hopes that you will continue to read, one day soon He is coming, and the state of your spirit has to be right or else you will not go with Him. It burdens my heart to imagine what it would be like when mothers' hands go empty of children, and are left to suffer wrath. It burdens my heart to think of the despair that supposed Christians will feel when their Father says "I did not know you". We must KNOW Him , and in doing so, He will know us, and we will be with Him forever. What could be more motivation than that to be right with Him? I know that I want to be reconciled to Him, no matter what the cost.
Read Part II, Sexual Sins, here.