Sunday, December 27, 2009

A new code of conduct...........

Before I was a believer, I didn't understand believers. I didn't know exactly what about them was different, but I definitely thought they were different. I also thought they were a little "eccentric" and that being a Christian was hard, I thought it was going to be really different from what I was doing, I thought I'd have to give up things and change radically, and it seemed daunting.

Now that I believe in Christ, and now that I can comfortably call myself a Christian, I don't really understand what all the confusion was about. I can look back now and laugh at myself and wonder what I thought the big deal was. There are changes, certainly, and sacrifices too, but nothing radical, nothing daunting, and no need to get it right on the first try. I'm still allowed to stumble, and fail, and my continued sin is expected, because I'm human and essentially, that's what we do. The changes that are made are in the heart, and in the intentions, how we view life changes, how we view each other changes, but otherwise, believing is not hard.

Thinking again of the coming year and my goals to change every area of my life for the better, I started looking for scripture that really guided me on what better Christian behavior looked like. The bible is of course filled with rules and guidelines for Christians to follow, so its hard to pick just one. But, I found a piece of scripture that I really like, and its long, so bear with me, but its smart and it's simple and well, I just like it! This is from The Message interpretation.

1 Peter 3:1-17

1 The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated2 by your life of holy beauty.3 What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—

4 but your inner disposition.
Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.
5 The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands.6 Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.

7 The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.
Suffering for Doing Good
8 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble.9 That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

10 Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful;

11 Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth.

12 God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.13 If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped?14 Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought.15 Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.16 Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath.17 It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad.

The little pieces I highlighted in red are the parts I like the best. I feel like they're really good guide posts for living according to what God wants.

Wives, be good to your husbands, responsive to their needs.

Husbands, be good to your wives, honor them and delight in them.

Be agreeable.

Be sympathetic.

Be loving.

Be compassionate.

Be humble.

All of us, no exceptions.

No retaliation.

No sarcasm.

Instead, bless, that's our job, to bless, to be a blessing and receive blessings in return.

Say nothing evil or hurtful.

Snub evil and cultivate good.

Chase after peace.

And last but not least, be ready to explain to people why you're living the way you are, and always with courtesy.

That's the real key piece here.

Be prepared to live your Christian beliefs in front of others, and be prepared to say that's exactly what you're doing, and explain why, that we're called to live like Christ, and He does all these things, He is everything good and doesn't have to try, but every day we have to make a conscious effort to be more like Him.

This "little" piece of scripture is actually part of a much bigger chunk of really good advice, but I couldn't copy and paste all of 1 Peter into this entry, but if you're interested, check it out and see if you can't find more little helpful hints of your own! YouVersion is a great place to read it, especially if your bible is written in a complicated or difficult to read language, you can find many interpretations here.

Before I go, I just wanted to add, that there are only 4 days left of 2009! Its been a challenging year and I'm excited to get started with a new one, a fresh one! My new life rebuild has already begun, but I'm excited to tackle the big jobs in the coming year and can't wait to see what joys and blessings, and challenges 2010 will bring our way!



Post a Comment