February 15 I Monday
“My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth.” —John 17:15-17
One of the big questions that we have to deal with in life all the time is, how are we supposed to behave? Why are we supposed to behave this way? As individuals, we make those decisions every day as we go about our responsibilities. As parents, we decide what is the proper behaviour for our children, and we instruct and discipline them to that end. As a society, we elect a government who, amongst other things, decides what is acceptable behaviour for its citizens. This science of behaviour is what we call “ethics.”
During the last half-century or so, there has been a vast change in ethical perspective, particularly in the western world. In the short space of history, there has never been such a phenomenal revolution of ideas as to what is right, what is wrong, what is good and what is bad. Very few would agree that there are moral absolutes, but moral relativity is dependent on the context, circumstance, condition and environment. Certain things may be right in one and not in another.
One of the greatest transformations over the century has been in our understanding of sexual ethics. There was a time when chastity was regarded as a virtue and a good thing. Now, chastity is regarded as unrealistic, unreasonable and psychologically damaging. A campus minister at a secular university found, as he shared the gospel with students, that the biggest barrier was not in the theology, apologetics or historicity of Christ, or even the authority of Scripture, but in sexual ethics.
As Christians, we live in two worlds. We have one foot in the biblical world, where we understand that the Bible is God’s revelation to us of His truth and we seek to understand and live by it. Then we have the other foot in the twenty-first-century world, where we are caught up in all the currents, crosswinds and influences of our culture. How these two worlds interconnect sometimes is a big difficulty to us, especially in the areas of morality and behaviour.
What is our moral standard and behaviour? The Ten Commandments God has revealed to us. Some find it not only old-fashioned, but also irrelevant and out of date in our world today. Others even argue that the Ten Commandments sound too negative and restrictive for those of us who want to live life to the full; those who believe in that have rejected the truth for a lie. May we seek to live our life in a manner where our moral standard and behaviour seek to glorify and satisfy God, not following trends and the culture of our time.
Prayer: Dear God, I desire to live according to Your truth. Give me the strength to turn from following trends and the culture of my time. Thank You, God.