Rebellion, lawlessness, and civil unrest has become a regular occurrence. Among some there is no respect for law enforcement. Common sense and decency is severely lacking. If one disagrees with another, that person is called a racist or bigot. Even freedom of speech has become a lost right and privilege, turning into demonstrations and violence. There needs to be an influence and force for truth, righteousness, and stability in a culture gone mad and wild.
Never during my lifetime living in America have I seen such a decline from truth, respect for authority, common sense, and order. Of course, it is happening all over the world. Yet with all of this, I am also seeing how wide a gap exists between those people whose attitudes and behavior have sunk to very low levels, and born again Christians. The contrast should be rather obvious. With that said, Christians who have put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ can and should be a stabilizing force for truth, righteousness, and peaceful coexistence. We are told in Matthew 5:13-14 to be the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth.” Salt is a preservative. Christians can exhibit Godly qualities that will stand head and shoulders above the culture. We must refuse to be caught up in the culture, and choose rather to rise above it. Here are eight ways to do this.
1. Colossians 4:6 advises to “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.”
2. Have a positive and Godly attitude as expressed in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true…honorable…right…pure…lovely…of good repute…excellent…worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”
3. Forgiveness. We should heed the words of Ephesians 4:31-32 which read, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
4. Apologize when necessary. Romans 12:18 says “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live at peace with all [ people].”
5. Have a good strong, and honest, work ethic. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23).
6. Refuse to be involved in ungodly conversation. Refer back to Colossians 4:6.
7. Show sincere concern by looking out “for the interests of others” and bearing their burdens. (Philippians 2:4 and Galatians 6:2).
8. Tell people that you are praying for them. I Timothy 2:1-2 says “…entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all [people], for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
By putting into practice one or more of these eight steps not only will people be shown a much more noble way, but they may see the grace of God at work. They can be applied at home, at work, or in our relationships. How about you? Which of these ways could you put into practice in your work, at home, or in your relationships, to stand out above the culture?