When the secular world sees Christians, what are they really seeing? What do they hear when we speak? Do they see us spew forth hatred when we cut off in traffic? Do they hear critical, judgmental diatribe when our politicians fail us? Do they hear cursing and vulgarity when we’re having a bad day?
We are good at excusing ourselves with statements like “I can’t help it,” or “I’m just human,” or my least favorite: “God understands. I’m not perfect.” Let’s examine these excuses (and that is exactly what they are).
First of all, we CAN help it because Philippians 4:19 says we can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens us. Therefore, saying we can’t help it is basically calling God a liar. With His help, we can change our behavior, our attitudes, and our actions. With His help we can even change our motivations. I’m not saying it will happen overnight. These changes generally take days, weeks, maybe even months of prayer and a continual state of repentance, asking God to remove the negative and replace it with the appropriate fruit of the Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22, 23)
Secondly, yes, we are human, but God has given us His Holy Spirit to teach us and “conform us into the image of His Son.” Rom_8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. In Romans 12:1 we are instructed to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. We are to be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our minds. That means we should not just read scripture, but apply it to our lives. We are to allow scripture to change us. If we are to present ourselves, then we are making a choice to allow God to change us, or not. Thus it is possible for us to “help it.” God didn’t save us to leave us as we were when He began to work in our hearts.
Thirdly, God understands that we are human, but He also knows for what purpose He saved us. It was not to allow us to continue to live as if we weren’t saved (from our sins). “Mat_5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” These words are printed in red because Jesus spoke them. God uses the word perfect to mean complete, holy, pure. We will not achieve perfection (meaning without sin) in this live, but we are to constantly be working toward that goal.
Rom_12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Php_3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Jas_1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
The secular world is watching us to see if we are sincere in our faith, to see if Christianity (faith in God the Father, God the Son (Jesus the Christ), and the Holy Spirit) really works for us. They are looking for genuineness. The world needs to see that faith in Christ really does make a difference. A former pastor once said our walk should match our talk. He called it our walkie-talkie. If you can keep from cursing in the presence of your parents, you can stop cursing anywhere. Make sure your walkie-talkie is working. By the way, one last note: saying Oh My G_ _ is still taking His name in vain: you’re using it as if it’s just another word with no special significance. To do something in vain means to do it without a specific purpose in mind. God’s name is to be revered, not taken lightly. The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus chapter 20. Pay special attention to the first one.