7.14.18 Praise & Prayer Prompt: A Higher Standard

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• So it sounds like Papa John’s has some issues.

If you haven’t heard the story yet, the founder made some disparaging comments and resigned from the board.

In the aftermath, Papa John’s is doing damage control as schools, universities, and professional sports teams around the country sever relationships with the company.

One offensive word has sent this international company into a tailspin.

You’d think people would know better.

Whether you’re the Chairman of the Board or an average Joe, the things we say and do have consequences.

Sometimes, significant ones.

And for Christians, we are held to a higher standard.

I touched on this briefly a couple of days ago when I wrote about judgment versus accountability.

But it goes far beyond that.

We are being watched.

(Cue the scary music.)

If you are known to be a Christian, those who aren’t are watching you.

They may not be consciously aware of it, but they are…

They may be watching to gauge your sincerity or frankly, they may be watching to see when you fail.

And if you do fail, or if you compromise Christian standards, I can almost guarantee the thought, “I thought they were supposed to be a Christian,” will run through their mind.

This is something I take very seriously.

As a Christian writer, I know there’s a tremendous weight of responsibility that goes with what I do every day.

I’m far from perfect, but it’s always on my mind.

In Matthew 18:6, Jesus said, “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

While He was speaking of children, I believe the words apply to all Christians, whether we are dealing with children, unbelievers, or even those Christians who are young in their faith, or who are backsliders.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Your exact brand of sin may not have been listed, but either way, as Christians who have been bought, paid for, washed, and redeemed by the blood of Jesus — we have to be constantly diligent of what we say and do.

We are in the world, not of it (John 17:16).

And because of that truth, we are held to a higher standard.

We know that being a Christian doesn’t make us perfect and it certainly doesn’t guarantee we won’t sin again, but the world expects that.

It’s a ridiculous and unfair expectation but that’s because the world does not see our faith the same way we do.

They view it as a ritualistic religion.

We view it as a relationship between imperfect sinners and a perfect Savior.

So while the expectations of us may feel impossible, we are called to do all we can to be like Jesus.

1 John 2:6 says, “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”

Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for modeling for us the type of life we should strive to live.

Ask Him to help you be ever-mindful of the standards and responsibilities that come with Christian life.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and direct you to live a life that is vibrantly full of love for our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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