Have you ever wondered what other people think about you? Admittedly, this is quite a worldly concern that a majority of people even get stressed about. Should we worry about this as Christians? The simple answer to this is ‘no’. There is, however, a more extensive and more detailed version of this question that certainly does concern us as believers of Jesus Christ.
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
1 Peter 2:12
Should we concern ourselves with how we look to the world? Yes, definitely and without a question. There is a calling that as Christians we have to illustrate the character and nature of God. We confess with our mouths that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour. That brings with it a call to shine a light in our circle of influence. People around us should see that we are different from the world. We need to live virtuous lives. Often witnessing this in others is the first step for people to encounter Jesus for themselves. There are magnificent opportunities to act out the heart of the gospel every day and we should pray to God that we won’t miss them.
However, we need to be bold in this anything-goes world of ours. Opposition will come more often than we probably like. Standing up for our faith and giving reason, nevertheless, is a powerful tool. These days people believe things because they feel like it’s the right thing. But not a lot of people have a solid reasoning for what they believe or stand up for. So for us to have a strong position and be prepared is essential in a way.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Feelings dictate most of today’s values and ideas. Political correctness is based on feelings and nothing that stands the test of time. What was abhorrent yesterday is seen as commendable today. Human traditions, as Paul calls them in Colossians, are empty and deceitful when they are not grounded in the living God.
Just because we feel certain ways, it appears to be acceptable to curse or gossip. It is an ugly habit that does not come from God but from darkness and selfishness. If we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, then it has to be seen as well. In moments that we do fall into sin, examine where we stand with God. Do we feel convicted by the Holy Spirit? We cannot go on sinning and act like the world without a sign of conviction.
If we deliberate keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgement and or raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
We, having the Spirit of Truth within us, need to make sure that God is exalted in every situation. While the world is going the other direction, following many blind guides and empty promises, we could be the only hope for those who do not see it.