Let me just preface this by saying I’m not a saint. I probably have a log in my eye that needs to be pulled out before I start pulling out sticks in others’ eyes. But I feel very passionate about what I’m going to talk about.
First of all I come from a family where I’m the only one who is saved. Which today actually marks seven years of accepting the Lord as my Savior. So thankful for my salvation. And when I got saved I didn’t change immediately. Actually I would say the most change I’ve undergone has been in the past few years since I started attending FBC. I’m not who I want to be, but I’m definitely thankful I’m not who I was.
I’ve heard this said before, and I completely agree with it: Salvation is free of charge but it’s not free of change.
If you’re truly saved, there should be a change that has taken place whether it’s in the way you live, the way you speak, the things you watch, what you listen to; pretty much every area of your life!
Again, let me just say, I am NOT a saint.
One thing I’ve learned, especially in the past year or so, is that I cannot compare myself to my friends, even my fellow Christian friends. That’s one of the worst things I could do. Because I know me. And I know if I compare myself to my friends, I’ll start to make small compromises in my life. As a Christian I’ve had some of these thoughts below (not all of them! PTL). But I’m definitely guilty of thinking some of these things below:
“Well, so-and-so listens to this kind of music and they go to my church… so it’s okay that I do too.”
“Well, so-and-so cusses and they go to my church… so it’s okay that I do too.”
“Well, so-and-so watches inappropriate movies and they go to my church… so it’s okay that I do too.”
“Well, so-and-so smokes cigarettes and they go to my church… so it’s okay that I do too.”
God calls us to be DIFFERENT. He doesn’t want us to be like the world, He wants us to be like His SON! Jesus is the one we should be comparing our lives to. We become so complacent and so “okay’ with living how others live, and accepting that as the norm. When in reality, Jesus has set the standard, in which we all fall short, but by God’s grace we can get back up and try AGAIN!
If you know the music you listen to isn’t pleasing to God, then stop it. So you’ve fallen short? Well get up and try again. Quit making it okay by comparing yourself to others. If you know the words you say or how you say them isn’t pleasing to God, then stop it. Get up and try again. So your friends are the ones cussing and you can’t help but be like them when you’re around them? Then they’re just going to continue to think it’s okay because you haven’t set a standard either! It’s probably some never ending cycle. If you want to change, someone is going to have to break that cycle!
Again, let me just reiterate that I am just as big of a sinner as anyone else.
It scares me as a teacher and as a coach, goodness, even as a friend, I see some of the things teenagers do and some of the things they say and in my mind I’m just like: “Man, I know they have a younger sibling, if they’re not careful their little sibling has a high chance of doing and saying the same things.” I imagine the same to be true with adults and parents. I don’t have kids, but I know one thing is for sure, I’m just their TEACHER and they’re watching me and I know they’re listening to me, and they’re paying attention to how I react. So if they do those things I honestly shouldn’t be surprised! I can only imagine how much more a child is watching and listening to their parent.
As Christians, we need to stop comparing our selves to our friends, even our Christian friends and start comparing ourselves to Jesus. We are going to fall short, but we don’t have to stop there. Jesus has set the standard. So the questions we need to ask ourselves are:
- Where in my life do I need to make a change?
- If I know I need to make a change, why HAVEN’T I made that change yet?
- Are there any people or things in the way of me successfully making this change?
- What steps can I take to see this change through?
Remember, we can’t sit back and wait for our friends to change so that we can change. Someone has to step up. Jesus has set the bar. It’s time we start rising.