One of the scariest (and most needed) things we can do as Christians, is to honestly evaluate every aspect of our lives through the lens of the Bible. And not only to evaluate, but to change what we are shown needs to be changed. Too many of us have become “Christians of this world.” The things we allow and the things we are ok with are all to often not in line with what God says. We surround ourselves with Christian friends and family, which is good and Biblical, but often what is acceptable for our Christian lives becomes defined by what the people as a group think, not what God thinks. It is good and wise to seek counsel and advise from other believers, but we need to remember that they are people too. And as people, we are imperfect and tainted by this world. We need our perfect, unwavering, untainted God to be the beginning and the end of everything we stand for.
As Christians we are called to be God’s holy people, to be set apart, to give it all for God and love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength (Deut 6:5). If we love God with everything in us, as the verse says, then we will strive to obey Him. We need to search out any sin in our lives – anything that goes against God, and with His help, rid ourselves of it. Pray, read the Bible, seek God, ask Him to show you anything that you might need to change in your life (Psalm 139:23,24). Evaluate yourself in light of His word: “What does the Bible say about the content of the movies I’m watching, the books I’m reading, the music I’m listening to, the people I’m hanging out with, the clothes I’m wearing, my friends, my activities, my speech, my decisions, my attitude, my worship, etc. Ask yourself questions like, “Does this portray unbiblical things in a good light ( If it is not clearly condemning unbiblical things, then it is supporting them.)?” “Can I honestly say that I feel no guilt about/see nothing wrong with this in light of God’s word?” “Would I wear, watch, listen to, say, read, look at, do that, if Jesus were in the room with me (Because in fact, He is in the room)?” Whatever it may be, we need to reshape whatever is necessary in our lives, to make it match up with what the Bible says.
Following what God says and sticking to convictions means hardship in this world. It means people becoming offended and upset at you, losing friends, losing status in this world, even having your Christian friends and family laugh at you and tell you that you are being to radical and legalistic. For some it means living with their lives in constant danger for the sake of Christ. Regardless of the cost, when God convicts us, we need to listen and obey. And when we do, for what we give up in this world, we gain so much more in God.
I’d like to leave you with this piece by Christina Rossetti:
“True, all our lives long we shall be bound to restrain our soul, and keep it low;
but what then? For the books we now forbear to read, we shall one day be
endowed with wisdom and knowledge. For the music we will not listen to, we
shall join in the song of the redeemed. For the pictures from which we turn,
we shall gaze unabashed on the Beatific Vision. For the companionship we
shun, we shall be welcomed with angelic society and the communion of
triumphant saints. For the amusements we avoid, we shall keep the supreme
jubilee. For the pleasures we miss, we shall abide in the rapture of Heaven.
It cannot be much hardship to dress modestly at small cost, rather than richly
and fashionably, if with conviction we are awaiting the white robes of the redeemed.”