“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.”
The ways of the fallen world are not the ways of God. The way that the world thinks is not the way that God thinks. The priorities and values of the world are not those of God.
Eve and Adam went wrong when they allowed their thinking to be led away from the word of God. David went wrong when he thought himself justified, as king, in doing whatever he liked no matter the affect it had on others, and even although he knew it was contrary to at least three of God’s commandments. The world as we know it today, including many of the so-called Christian nations, is showing itself increasingly able to justify whatever suits it. This includes careless greed, all sorts of immorality, and the extremes of abortion, initiated warfare and torture. In fact almost every one of the Ten Commandments has been by-passed in one way or another.
Paul makes it quite clear that this way of thinking is both futile and unacceptable to the Christian. He shows that it comes from the ‘darkened understanding’ of people who are ‘separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts’.(v18) Once such a journey is embarked upon it leads into a downward spiral that takes people further and further from God and into an ever deepening darkness of unawareness – until it is too late.
The Christian should, in fact must, view things differently. It is an integral part of our faith and trust in God. We have the teaching and wisdom of God expressed through the Scriptures and in the example and instruction of Christ Himself. We dare not ignore these teachings or deviate from them. Our Lord expects us to be a light to the world, living to a visibly different standard. The One whom we worship in our services should be honoured and glorified in our lives and work. If Jesus truly is the Way, then He is also the ways in which we live that way.
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” (John 15:10)
Do I live as a believer or as an unbeliever?
Father, please help me not to be led astray, but to seek your will and live it. Amen.