Today, we are back to our series in Romans 12. I bring you another cyber friend, Michael Clark. If you get a chance, hop over and visit one of his sites: Shadows of the Cross or Daily Signs of Hope.
Be Careful What You Do
(Consider in advance what is right – beautiful).
This is a command to live a “beautiful” life. We are called upon to be faithful in the sight of all men by living the kind of life that brings glory to the Lord. The life we live should be a thing of beauty to those who observe it and to the Lord, Who also sees every move we make. Nothing is more God honoring and beautiful than a faithful life!
One of the greatest compliments we could ever receive is being a man/woman of integrity.
It’s a powerful testimony.
God calls us to be living sacrifices. If you are anything like me, you might be saying about now, “Okay, Lord, I am with You so far, but what does it look like to be a Living Sacrifice? What will it look like on Monday morning and what will it look like when I get home today?”
The Apostle Paul knew what we were thinking when he wrote to this church in Rome. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where the LIVING part of the sacrifice is revealed. We are not to be a dead sacrifice, which we would prefer, but a living, acting, being sacrifice!
Our testimony is to be a living sacrifice, one that points men to God, and for that to happen, we must always strive to do what is right by God and, in so, we will be seen as doing what is right in the eyes of men. Men may not listen to our words, but they do watch our actions, and how they see us may be how they interpret what we truly believe rather than our words do.
We may be the only translation of a Bible they will read. We need to preplan our responses to situations and to life. We need to show that which is visibly, outwardly, and tangibly good so that others may see God through us.
“Do right it in the eyes of everybody” that would include yourself. Not only should your testimony and actions be a light beacon, seen right in the eyes of others, but your testimony and actions should be such that you can live with yourself, as well.
A literal rendering of this verse could be, “Stand for what is right in the sight of all.” A true Christian should be known for their stand for godly choices. There is an implication of spiritual integrity in this verse.
“In the sight of all” implies that this integrity is a visible characterization of your personality. The maintenance of integrity is somewhat of a go-no-go endeavor. We consider a bridge to have integrity if it can hold the load for which it is designed. It only takes a small flaw for the bridge to buckle and fall under its rated load.
Likewise, there is no room for the acceptance of a small flaw in personal integrity, since when it becomes known before men, integrity no longer exists. A love that is without hypocrisy is characterized by flawless personal integrity. Such an individual is not going to be seen doing ungodly things in private, simply because those ungodly things are not done. The implication here is not to hide our ungodliness. The implication is to live a life that does not need to be hidden but is rather visible to all people as one of honesty and integrity.
It is my conviction that we Christians must work harder and be more deliberate in cultivating an image of integrity and respect. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
Luke tells us that, immediately after Pentecost, the Christian believers enjoyed “the favor of all the people” (Acts 2:47). It should be our goal to be like Titus who was “praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel” (2 Corinthians 8:18) and Demetrius who was “well spoken of by everyone” (3 John 12).
A positive image in the community or within your circle of influence enhances your ability to accomplish your goals. It also provides a positive example to those who are learning to do what you are doing. We are urged to live good lives so others can see our good deeds and glorify God.
Whereas our good deeds do not determine our salvation, they may influence the salvation of others because whether or not a person comes to Christ is going to be determined by how attractive Christianity is to him. And the attractiveness of Christianity is directly proportionate to the way the Christian faith is viewed by outsiders.
Maybe we haven’t been expressing true Biblical love in our lives, but we can start today! One of Coach John Wooden’s favorite sayings is, “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” He had the most prepared team in the country. His players would say that compared to his practices, the games were a breeze.
In what ways can you prepare yourself, so that when the time comes for you to respond to evil or insult, you will have the best chance to respond in a God-honoring manner?