How to live a Godly life in a ungodly world
Being a Christian means that you are dedicating your life to God. It means that you want to follow Him and do what is right, but sometimes this is hard to do. It certainly becomes hard when your neighbor, or brother, boss, father or friends bring difficulties in your life that challenges your faith. So, what can we do to help us overcome?
First, we must first please God for as Paul said, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him” (2 Cor. 5:9). Our goal, our mindset, our decisions should be that which pleases God. If we put money (1 Tim. 6:10), pride, careers or relationships first, it will consume all our time and we will then have no time for God, no time for our faith to become strong. But, if we put God first, our heart, yea our faith, will be in the right place. You know, sometimes following God is hard. But, when we seek God and his priorities, our worries are reduced to rubble. And, it is amazing that Jesus said if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he predicted that God would meet our needs (Matt. 6:33). Therefore, we do not have to worry about tomorrow’s problems.
Second, we must think on the good stuff (Phil. 4:8). What we think about is a major factor in how we deal with evil in our world. For example, if we think about hurt, hating, greed, lust, conflict, sin, revenge and hate—our thoughts will be focused on evil and the consequences of evil is sin. Now, some may say, “but we can’t control our thoughts, we just think what we think.” God would not tell us to choose good thinking if it was not possible. We should be thinking based upon faith, hope and righteousness instead of doom and gloom and sin. Paul advised that, “. . . whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
Third, notice Rom. 12:9, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” We must hate evil and love the good. Hating evil means that we do not approve of what evil does. Sadly, our culture places very high values on tolerance. “Let people do their own thing,” they say. They also suggest that nothing is wrong unless it hurts someone else, and even that may not be wrong. While previous generations called abortions, pornography and sexual relations outside of marriage sin—our generation likes to call all these things, “choice and personal preference.” The attitude is, "Keep quiet. Look the other way. Shut up. Mind your own business." But, while the world says what it may, the Bible says: “Abhor that which is evil.”
Fourth, we must really believe that God is greater than evil (1 Jn. 4:4). This takes faith to believe this. The Bible teaches that we are in a great spiritual battle between the forces of evil and the forces of good, between Satan and God. This war is real, ferocious, deadly and sometimes the fight is not so obvious. It seems at times that we are stepping around land mines in that we never know where sin will rear its ugly head. Some of what we see and experience is insane, crazy, wild, irrational and senseless. But, that’s the way sin is. Yet, John stated that faithful Christians have ultimate victory over it. He said, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4). Sure we may get tired, discouraged and beaten on by the world, but remember that God will win and so will we if we are faithful to Him.
Fifth, we must learn to treat others well. Jesus said, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12). While this is of the Old Law, the “Golden Rule” distinguishes us as Christians. We will love our enemies and return good for evil, we will forgive when people come and asked to be forgiven because we are like God than like those who do what is wrong. The Bible states, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Paul said, “Recompense to no man evil for evil . . . . Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:17-18). We are to do what is right in our beliefs, morals and reactions and be like Jesus who once walked among mankind living a Godly life in an ungodly world.