Of all the ways God calls us to be different than the world, the one we THINK we understand the best is that we have different values. We all know that Christians are to live according to a different set of values. We understand we are to obey the commandments, the teachings of Jesus, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. We understand that our lives should look different than the rest of the world. Yet, I fear we fall into one of two major traps.
First, we choose to live by God’s values sometimes, while at other times we follow the world’s values. Two major areas we men fall into this trap are in terms of sexual purity and pride. We know God calls us to sexual purity, yet we often choose to indulge in the world’s ways (not just pre or extra marital sex, but also lust, pornography, etc.). God also constantly calls us to humility, yet as men we are often driven by our pride. We KNOW that God commands purity and humility, but we CHOOSE to follow the world’s values out of desire, simplicity, enjoyment, fitting in, or any host of reasons. The second trap is that we sometimes follow God’s values for the wrong reasons. I’ve known many Christians (myself included at points in my life) who view the following of God’s values as making them superior than others. They look down condescendingly on those who don’t follow God as closely as they do, and are quick to judge others. Some of their self worth comes from seeing themselves as following God in a better manner than others (again, I’ve been there). This was a major problem in Jesus’ time, and the reason he found himself at constant odds with the Pharisees, who prided themselves on being purer, and thus better, than other believers.
There is a common problem with both of these traps: it’s that we don’t always fully understand why it is that we are to follow God’s values. There are many reasons we follow God’s ways, but I want to focus on one very simple and profound one today. We live by God’s values because Jesus (God in the flesh and the Savior of the World) lived by those same values. In other words, we live holy lives because Jesus is holy.
Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
Men, we are SO fortunate that the creator, savior, and sustainer of the universe has given us a blueprint for how to live. Don’t you think that we should follow His plan for life? It is a blueprint to help us live the best life possible, while also blessing others and giving honor to Him that created, saved, and sustains us. We live out God’s values, living Holy lives, because Jesus lived a Holy life. In the process we live lives that bless others and honor God.