One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
We all have choices to make concerning our lifestyle, and there are plenty of influences around us that can affect our decisions. We may see others “living large,” and possibly feel a twinge of envy that they seem to have everything. However, not every lifestyle is beneficial, and bad decisions made in our present can negatively impact our future. In order to avoid regrets later, the wisest course of action is to pattern our lives according to biblical principles.
Not everything is what it seems; an extravagant or lascivious lifestyle we witness today could be totally swept away tomorrow. If we are to see things as they really are, we need godly wisdom to help us make the right choices. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5, NIV). When we make our decisions based on God’s advice instead of what we see around us, we avoid making painful mistakes.
Life is precious, and it has been given to us as a gift. As free moral agents, we can choose for ourselves how to live it, but having a right to do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing to do. Keeping ourselves pure from evil influences isn’t always easy, but it benefits us in the long run. “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9, NIV). Situations around us can change from good to bad in the blink of an eye, but relying on the Word of God keeps us safe.
Sometimes things that happen can make us feel discouraged, but there’s always something for which to be thankful and grateful. Even if maintaining a positive attitude generates criticism from others, there’s always a chance that our attitude can provide hope and encouragement for someone else. This is one way God can use us to reach people who may be hurting and needing help. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV). Our speech is powerful, and it can affect others as well as ourselves for either good or bad.
Displaying godly behavior is impossible without first getting our minds right. Allowing the wrong thoughts to enter into our minds, and dwelling on those thoughts, causes us to think wrong. The apostle Paul advised the church at Philippi on which thoughts to reject and which ones to embrace, and we can benefit from that same advice. “Finally, brethren, 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. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:8, 9). Right-thinking is accompanied by peace of mind.
Conducting ourselves according to what we see others do may be fun for a while but, ultimately, it drains the joy out of life for us. God doesn’t want us to struggle; His will for us is exceedingly good. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10, NLT). We succeed when we trust God fully.