If your life were a movie, what would it be rated?
As we continue to talk about personal holiness it’s time to get real and talk about the things we do, or don’t do in our lives that impact our relationship with God, others and our holiness.
How are you different in the privacy of your own home, car, or in the company of family than you are on any given Sunday morning?
Are you polite and patient when standing in line at the church’s coffee counter but pushy and abrasive when waiting in line at the grocery store when you no longer have an audience? Do you watch movies that are racist, sexist, exploitative or violent? How about video games or the music on your ipod?
Now I’m going to get a little more personal… what about your thought life?
What do you do when your eyes meet those of an attractive stranger? Do you allow your mind to play out a scenario or do you take every thought captive and surrender it to Jesus?
How about this one…how do you handle it when you are given some personal information about a friend or co-worker? Do you share that information with other people so as to appear “in the know” or do you keep the confidence knowing that it honors God and protects the other persons privacy and character.
When we indulge in thoughts, behaviors and activities in our private life that we would not actively participate in at church or with other believers we are living incongruently.
God desires for us to grow in holiness, for holy living to become a lifestyle more than just lip service on Sunday morning.
The bible encourages us to protect ourselves from temptation. I love The Message translation of Proverbs 4:23. It says this:
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter,
white lies, and gossip.
Our walk (actions) and our talk (who we say we are) need to line up if we desire to reflect God’s glory and holiness.
This is way more than just follow the rules and do the right thing…this is about making holiness a lifestyle, this is about living as God’s people – holy and dearly loved.
I think that holiness as a lifestyle begins when we commit to purify our thought life, when we break with our past (thoughts & Behaviors) and when we commit to living a life of obedience to God.
For those who have children, you know that nothing keeps you more honest than having to explain your bad behavior and apologize to your kids. I have experienced this more than once.
I realized the importance of having my walk and talk line up, as my daughter got older.
My daughter is bright and articulate. She is also a play by the rules kid. She routinely asks me in the car if I am buckled up, if my headlights are on and if I am going the speed limit. I have come to think of her as being my extra conscience in the backseat of my SUV.
One day my family and I were in the car and my husband was driving. As we pulled into traffic we hear a distinct angry voice from the backseat of the car, “COME ON LADY!!!” At first my husband and I cracked up laughing, and then it hit me. She learned that from me. What had I been modeling to her in the car? Certainly not patience or self – control. Thankfully nothing more colorful came out, but I learned my lesson all the same.
When I am not spending time alone with God and placing His word in my heart, the ugliness of sin and selfishness ooze out at every opportunity.
I become quick to spew nastiness out of my mouth, because it is a reflection of the state of my heart when I operate out of my old self and slip back into old patterns of thinking and behavior.
1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
That verse is a great example to us for how we should pursue holy living.
Mind (thought) + Obedience (action) = Holiness (glorifying God).
As you go through your week, ask yourself what areas of your life don’t line up. Don’t be afraid to take an inventory of thoughts, beliefs and behaviors and determine where your walk and talk might be out of sync.
Lastly, let me know how the inventory process goes for you. I’d love to hear if this was helpful for you as you pursue holiness and living out your relationship with God in the dailyness of life.
Grace & Peace ~ Karen