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DEVOTION // Being more than just "good enough"

DEVOTION // Being more than just "good enough"

“God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:7).

“So how much is enough?” That’s the way some people look at living a Christian life.  Instead of striving to be perfect as God demands, they rationalize that everyone is sinful, so they can get a pass on not being perfect.  When people head down that road, they have to wrestle with the question I just posed: “So how much is enough?”

While it’s a little dramatic, we can look at it this way: A mother caught her child in a lie and the child argued, “It’s just a little white lie and besides that, everyone else does it.” 

The mother responded, “So how much dog poop would you be ok with me putting in your food – ‘just a little’ should be fine, right?” 

“That’s gross, you wouldn’t really do that would you?” the child replied.

Realizing the illustration had made its point, the mother concluded the conversation saying, “I would never put dog poop in your food, and I hope you understand lying is not OK, no matter how little the lie is.”

All of that sets the stage for seriously talking about our Bible verse for this week: “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” Just as that mother wanted her child to understand no amount of sin is OK, God tells us through Paul in his letter to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica that no amount of sin or impure living is OK. Rather we are to be holy.

We need to strive to let our lives reflect the love of Jesus all the time.  What would it say to those around us if we let our light shine when we are in public with those we know, but in private they heard us swear like a sailor, speak words of hate anger about people and lived a wild life like those who do not know Jesus at all?

There is no double standard.  God’s directive in our Bible verse is a 24/7 prescription.  There is no “off” period or “down time” for God’s children who want to live their lives in a way that is pleasing to him.

What a blessing to know for all the times we’ve “let our guard down” or “let our hair down” or thought we could let our Christian witness slide, Jesus was perfect. Where we failed, he died on the cross and rose again to forgive those moments.

Living a holy life is not a way we can earn God’s favor or make ourselves look better in his sight. Living a holy life is simply our way to God thank for all that he has done for us.

Source: Lutheran Home Association Blog. Written by Rev. Joel Gaertner. He is The Lutheran Home Association Vice President of Ministry and National Director of Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM). Posted February 15, 2017.