How many times have you seen a kid give as his defense, “Well Billy did it too!” Or, when I say, “Well you’re the one who didn’t flush last time.”
There’s three enemies that cause us to misunderstand God’s Will. The first was our own feelings, the second is Satan. And the third completes the trilogy, so you can think of this as Return of the Jedi, but hopefully without Ewoks.
The third place we get the wrong message is – the world. Or to put it simpler, our culture. Or to put it even simpler, other people.
Let’s say Billy punches you in the face. Scripture says to turn the other cheek, but in our world, in our culture, it would be perfectly fine to punch Billy right in his ugly face.
Scripture tells us to honor our father and mother, but it’s really easy for kids to talk back when their friends at school constantly complain about their parents, and when they see kids dishonoring their parents on TV, and when parents in our culture simply allow it.
The scripture tells us to love thy neighbor, yet our culture tolerates gossiping and judgementalism. We constantly are receiving messages on what the standard for morality is. From TV to politics to our families, the world is setting the standard for morality.
What happens is not that our moral standards are being lowered, they are being replaced, and then being lowered.
Instead of comparing ourselves to Christ, we start comparing ourselves to other people. And over time we keep lowering the kind of people we compare ourselves to. We misunderstand God’s Will for us when we toss our His standards and replace them with the world’s standards. Then commands in the Bible, such as ‘love thy neighbor’ or ‘turn the other cheek’ are completely replaced.
Once those are tossed out, it’s replaced with ‘don’t be a jerk to your neighbor’. But now where is the love? How are we changing our neighbor instead of just living next door to them?
Rom 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
So what do we do?
We should be the standard to which the world compares themselves to. We should be a light on a hill.
The world should look to us. And we should compare ourselves to Christ, not the world.
So ask yourself, “How am I setting the Christ-like standard in my family, school, workplace, Facebook, and community?” “Will people see the difference in me simply by seeing my relationships, my speech, my status updates, my punctuality, my joy, my honesty, my diligence, my hard-work, my devotion, my love for others?” Or do they seem someone who is just as stressed out as they are, complaining about the same things, and have relationships that are just as bad as theirs.
Be a light in this world, set the Christ-like standard to those around you.
1PE 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.  As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.  For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do–living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.  They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.  But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.  For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit to work on: Faithfulness Take time to pray: Ask God for wisdom to see where you have adopted the standards of the world. Also, ask God for wisdom to know how to be the light to those around you.