Each one of us has our own personal experience that has led us
to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. For some it was a Christian home where
Biblical principles were the foundation, for others it includes a
testimony of riotous living that one day ended and a new life in Christ
My personal story includes living in a Christian home where I was
taught from a young age to know and love Jesus. I often tell people
that I invited Jesus into my heart when I was a little girl but I gave Him
my heart fully surrendered at the age of 15. For me, I knew what was
right and wrong in the sight of God and I did what was right just for
obedience sake…because it was what was expected. After an
encounter with Jesus as a teenager I no longer “followed the rules”
because it was the expected, but my heart truly desired to please the
lover of my soul, the One who gave me His life, so I could live mine.
I began to live out of relationship with Christ and no longer rules in hopes
that He would be pleased. I now had a revelation that He loved me, period.
Because of that love, living right was the least that I could do but not a way
of winning His approval or affection.
While there was no dramatic outward change in my behavior there was
a radical transformation in my heart. I longed to serve the King and my
heart was to please His. The basis of my Christian walk was now a
result of my love for Him not because it was what I was taught.
In living out the Christian walk, it has not always been easy. There
have many times where desire for the flesh outweighed my desire to
do the right thing and in that I thank God for His grace. However, I can
say with sincere gratitude “God has kept me”.
In making a daily decision to follow the Lord I find it interesting and
disheartening that the majority of backlash has come from those who
should be closest to me. Some of the most painful and critical
statements of “living a perfect life” and being “judgmental” of those
who do not live like me have been sent like daggers to my heart, at
times causing me to question my walk.
So then, what is wrong with choosing to live right?
The answer is nothing. However in seeking to live a life pleasing to the
Lord, check your heart often. What are the motives in doing what’s
right? Is your lifestyle bringing encouragement to those around you or
do people feel judged/condemned when you walk into the room? Our
lives should be like a fountain of refreshing water to those who are not
living for Christ causing them to thirst after Him.
So many times we start off with the right motives but self-righteousness
can creep in like a silent, invisible gas that takes life out of people.
In living a life that honors the Lord, I encourage you in the following
steps that I often use to examine my own heart:
1) Stay humble
Understand that there is NO good thing you can do on your own.
Anything that is deemed as good in your life is only by the grace of
2) Understand that you are never so safe in your faith that you cannot
fall. I believe that you can walk the straight and narrow path but it requires
a heart that is daily surrendered to the Lord. The moment we take our
eyes off of Jesus, we’ve just provided a moment of opportunity for the
enemy to come in and bombard us. Make no mistake about it, we will
be tempted but God has provided a way of escape.
We have to realize that not one person is exempt from temptation and
there is none among us who has “arrived”.
This is why accountability is so important. Those closest to you should
have shared values so that when you are off course, you have
someone to remind you what you believe and who you live for.
When you are mindful of your own vulnerabilities, you are less likely to
pick up stones to throw at others.
3) Understand that each of us have different convictions
While I believe there are some foundational principles in living the
Christian life that are not up for negotiation, I do realize that there are
other topics that are not agreed upon by all who are in my life. This is
where maturity must be in operation. Just because someone does not
share your point of view on a matter or a conviction you have in your
life does not make him or her less Christ-like. Work out your own
salvation. Perhaps you have a stronger conviction in a specific area of
your life because that is an area of potential struggle for you
personally. In all things, ask yourself, does this bring honor to the
Father? Am I hurting His heart by this behavior? Would the action I’m
participating in cause someone else to stumble? If each of us assumed
responsibility for taking inventory of our own walk we would find less
time to point out the flaws in others.
4) Pray for those who persecute you
Many times people criticize what they do not understand OR are not
willing to do themselves. Love truly does conquer all. Continue to love
and be a grace giver. Not everyone is going to agree with you and
there will be some who are vocal about how you live your life. The best
thing to do is let your light shine and your love speak.
5) Stay focused on the big picture
When you stay focused on what you’re truly living for, it keeps you on
track. For me it is to hear those words “Well done, my good and faithful
servant”. Oh how my heart beats faster with love and excitement as I
think of that day I will stand before the Hero of my Heart, the One who
loved me like no other and He tells me that I served Him well! Just the
thought of hearing His words of approval and seeing the look of love in
His eyes for me causes me to let everything else dissipate and centers
me back to my purpose.
There are great blessings for those who walk uprightly before the Lord.
Do not be discouraged if you feel you have not seen those rewards
come to pass. The Lord has not forgotten about you and He sees every
sacrifice, every “no” you give to stay on course. He is faithful to those
who call Him Lord and serve Him.
Let the following verse serve as your reminder today:
Galatians 6:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we
will reap a harvest if we do not give up.