PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Did you ever have your mom or dad say to you, “If all your friends jump off a cliff, does that mean you have to jump too?”
When I was growing up, my dad usually said it, and it was always dripping with sarcasm.
And I remember the first time I asked that same infamously rhetorical question to my own son.
I think I may have even out-sarcasmed my dad.
The point of the question is, of course, to encourage our children to make wise choices, to think before they act, to think for themselves, and use their common sense.
We don’t want them to take dangerous roads and make poor choices “just because everyone else is doing it.”
In Leviticus 18, God reminded the Israelites that they too needed to be bold enough to live differently.
They had been in captivity as slaves for a long time, and had been exposed to a foreign culture.
God had freed them, but they were moving to a land that had a whole other culture going on, including practices that weren’t morally sound, and violated God’s commandments.
Leviticus 18:1-4 says, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God.’”
Our God is a jealous God and He wanted the Israelites to live by His rules only.
Without getting into all the Levitical law today, let’s re-read those introductory verses.
They still apply to us.
We were all born as sinners but when we accepted Christ, we were expected to turn from our sin…
Even sins that the world says are “okay.”
Because God is our Lord, He expects our obedience, just as He expected obedience from the Israelites way-back-when.
He set apart His chosen people and as children of God, we too are called to be set apart.
Let’s flip forward to Romans 12:2, which says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We live in a world that is so conflicted and contradictory…
Think about what is socially acceptable today, and then, think back 20 years, 30 years, 40 years…
Um, yeah. Just a little bit (insert sarcasm here).
Our culture’s morality has been and continues to be compromised in the world’s ongoing pursuit of “acceptance.”
What the world says is right doesn’t always line up with what Scripture says is right.
And as Christians, when we gave our lives to God, it was no longer about pleasing the world, but it became about pleasing God.
And to that end, I come full circle back to the original question, with a slight twist…
Christian Friends, if the world says it’s alright, does that mean you have to do it?
Today, as you pray, thank God for giving us the Holy Bible as a tool and guide to learn to live as He commands.
Thank Him for His timeless instructions that enable us to be in the world, but not of it (John 15:19).
Ask the Holy Spirit to embolden your heart to make choices pleasing to God, without worry about what the world says.
And ask Him to help you be brave enough to embrace life in Jesus Christ, knowing that no matter what is said about you, life with Him, and life lived for Him, is infinitely better than life without Him.