November 15 - Imitating Christ

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 15 - Imitating Christ - 1 Peter 4:1-6

Sometimes I don't think that it's fair. The one person that we are supposed to imitate just happens to be the Son of God. Talk about some impossible standards.

I grew up in a home that didn't tolerate self pity. We learned that it was easier to just suck it up rather than have Dad disappointed in us. Now, I don't believe that it was always the best way to handle a family, but we learned a lot about endurance and keeping a decent attitude through it.

I think Jesus would have had every right to whine and complain about His lot in life. He had been sent to die for the sins of the world. That would give a lot of people plenty to whine and cry about. Peter says that we are to approach suffering with the same attitude that Christ had.

1 Peter 4:3 made me giggle a little. "You have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do - living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry." Ok ... what if I haven't? What did I miss out on?

But, he goes on to say that the pagans don't understand a Christian's behavior, since we refuse to participate in their bad behavior.

I wonder what our world would look like right now if that were true?! What if Christians actually chose not to participate in that behavior and did so with gentleness and respect, rather than announcing to the world that they weren't going to be living detestably like the pagans do and then ... come to find out ... they are actually participating in secret. What if ...

There are many lifestyle choices that we have to make as Christians, and I'm willing to bet that very few of us choose to walk away from bad behavior because of Christ's calling on our lives. Do non-Christians think it strange that you do not participate with them? Do they heap abuse on your for it? Doubtful... right?

What if that were a sure sign that you were a Christian and that was the only way someone could see who Christ really was? What if that were the standard that you set for a life lived in Jesus' name? What if your attitude was such that you cared more about living as Christ calls you than you do about giving in to your own selfish desires?

Oh, these words convict me to the core.

Judgment is coming. We are judged according to men in regard to the body - but, we live according to God in regard to the spirit.

Mankind looks at each of us and judges us according to our behavior. If we are judged to be a non-Christian, what will that do to the world - how will that affect people around us?

Holiness is living according to God in regard to the spirit.