This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the nations also walk, in the vanity of their mind.

Ephesians 4: 17

 

When we look around us at the world where we live, there is much beauty, grace, and love. Yet, the images that frequently catch my eye are ones of angry twisted faces, oppression, and hatred. The power of fear and the need to strike back are running rampant through people all over this planet, and there seems to be no end to the ways and the places where this evil force is working to turn our society upside down and to cut away the threads of our social structure. We live in hard times where suffering and loss provide fuel to an angry fire that pretends to seek justice but that gains destruction instead.

 

Christ calls us to live differently, for there is a self-centered futility at the center of all of this oppression, anger, fear, and destruction. Children of the Living God have been shown a different and a better way to engage the world where we live, for we are living in the continual presence of the King of Justice. Because of this, who and what should we fear? Rather than join in the destructive and angry words of people who have no other outlet for expression, we need to speak out with the love of all that is the voice of Christ. Rather than focus on what is wrong with our culture, we can bring the new humanity of Christ into the lives of others through the way that we interact and relate to them. This is not a solo effort either; as, we are in this with Christ leading us, the Holy Spirit counseling us, the Word of God informing us, and the entire community of believers standing with us every moment of the journey.

 

In Christ, we are no longer influenced by the vain, self-serving, and futile thinking of this world. In Christ, we are elevated to a perspective on this life that is eternal in its viewpoint and that is restorative in its desire. As followers of Christ we should reach into the culture of sin and death that surrounds us with hands that bring acceptance and that provide a healing touch. Our Lord calls us to live in a manner that is sincere, honest, and self sacrificing, a manner that is Christ-truth in the flesh. Thus, the people of the nations of this world will see and some will understand that their true humanity and the only eternal citizenship is found in Christ.

 

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to Him through God the Father.

Colossians 3: 17

 

This very thought can change the way that we live our lives. For me, I know that it can be a true game changer; for, I have to admit that there are a lot of things that I do and many of the thoughts that I have that are done in the name of getting it done or for the sake of getting what I want. In fact, when I consider my day to day life, there is relatively little that actually looks like it is done for the glory of God, and there is a lot that is just done.

 

The change that adopting this attitude requires is simple yet profound. It is simple in that as children of the living God we have the Spirit of Christ living within us; so, we already have Christ’s understanding and guidance to rely upon, and we have the Spirit to reveal God’s will and His heart and mind to us. Thus, God’s way of viewing our day is something that we can access directly, personally, and continually. There is literally nothing that we will be required to think about or to do that the Lord is not a party to and a part of. However, the rub in making this a personal reality is found in my own will, for I still need to seek God’s heart and mind and be willing to make it my priority in everything. Frankly, I am not there yet.

 

The good news is that God knows exactly where I am. He continues to demonstrate loving patience, grace, and a commitment to working in and with me in order to bring about the change that is required for me to grow to this desired outcome of functioning fully as a child of God. In the meantime, I can recognize my desire to turn over more of my own heart and mind to the Lord, I can identify and specifically surrender relationships and situations to Christ, and I can plan to seek out His will and attitude in every potentially difficult moment of my day. These are my tactics for making my day one in which people around me will see Christ when they interact with me. Yours may be different; however, if you don’t plan to make it happen, it won’t, and making this happen is one of the best ways that we can give thanks to God for His love for us.