I've been hearing a statement for a while now that declares that there is no difference between the church and the world these days. I was reading some material on divorce which concluded that the divorce rate among churchgoers was the same as that of nonchurch-goers. I've since discovered that the comment was based on a faulty assessment of the data. But I was reading somewhere else that adultery and lying among churchgoers isn't any different than for the rest of the "world." The impression people may be getting is that the things that the church allows really isn't all that different from that which the world allows.
But shouldn't there be a difference between those who call themselves "godly" and those who do not. Shouldn't being a Christian mean there is a difference in your life? What about holiness? We certainly cannot have the "holier than thou" attitude, but the holiness that God is looking for means there is something different about your life.
The word "holy" means "set apart." The full message behind that word is "set apart from the world onto God." With our commitment to God, we put away a passion for the things of this world. We have accepted a higher standard for morality and ethics. We hear God's commands and we walk in them. And it is by that very same God that we have the power to walk that difference in our lives. We become different.
We have been given the heart of God. Our passions are now for the things of God, the lost to be saved, the needy to be provided for, the hurting to be comforted, the sick and lonely to be visited, the fellowship with other believers to be sought out, the property - ours and the church's - to be taken care of well, and the Lord to be celebrated. Sacrifice is the practice. Commitment to God and His kingdom and to others is the mindset. We are to be different.
Are you really all that different from those around you? Can people really see any difference in you? Is that difference something that others would want? Does your life make people want to know God? And what are you doing about the answer to those questions? What do you think?
First Baptist Church
Ron Smith, Pastor
108 South Stokes Street
Havre de Grace, MD 21078