In a culture attempting to define Christians as those “against” various issues, I’m finding it helpful to focus on what the Bible tells me to be “for”. Here’s a short list of 5:
1. The Gospel as “Good News” – The word “gospel” literally means “good news”. People don’t need help feeling miserable & condemned; they need help understanding the one true source of hope & forgiveness. Where therapy and self-help gurus come up short; Jesus actually changes lives forever and provides a way to know Him personally (2 Cor. 5:17, Romans 5:1-8).
2. Personal Character – As a follower of Christ, I need to be authentic every day. Psalm 15 describes those who dwell in the presence of the Lord as ones who:
- Walk uprightly v.2 (having sound character and integrity, even in the “gray” areas)
- Work Righteousness v.2 (to pursue activities that spread honorable attitudes)
- Speak truth v.2 (consistently honest in both private life and public)
- Speak no gossip v.3 (even the stuff spoken privately as a “concern”)
- Speak no ill of a friend v.3 (a true friend)
- Keep promises v.4-5a (even when it hurts)
- Isn’t swayed by money v.5b (takes no bribe)
3. Christ-honoring Treatment of Others – Phil. 2:15 charges us “to be without fault in the midst of a “crooked and perverse generation” in order to shine as lights. That means I must look to Jesus’ model of extending grace & love, then prayerfully choose to reflect the same in dealing with others (1 John 4:7-11).
4. God’s Best in my Home – Along with God’s design for marriage and intimacy (Gen. 2:24 & 27), I need to be proactive and intentional about the environment inside my home. Our families’ speech to each other, levels of truthfulness, follow-through, time management, priorities, etc should all reflect an honest pursuit of God’s best and not mediocrity or compromise.
5. A Growing Prayer Life – Prayer is an incredible gift and the Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Whether I’m requesting help, sharing a burden, giving thanks, seeking guidance or interceding for others, the privilege of prayer is such a precious resource. It should be a regular part of my day and a natural “first-response” when issues pop-up.
To be clear, days do come along personally and vocationally requiring moral stands, but prayerful discernment is critical in approaching them. Our personal legacies are built day-by-day and I pray that mine speaks more of what I was for than what I was against. How about you?