This is something I’ve tried to understand for such a long time. As a Christian woman, I’ve found it difficult to find the balance between living in faith and living in this world. I feel guilty when I look at fashion trends or worry about what people think of me because I know none of these things will last. But at the same time, I know I have to somewhat stay grounded because for the short amount of time that I am here, I still have to be responsible and live for his glory.
I know a lot of Christians that clearly want to devote their lives to God but get too wrapped up in popular opinion. They’re too busy to read the Bible or pray because they have too much on their schedule. They can’t fully love their neighbor because they’re competing with them. They can’t see what’s wrong in the world because they’re trying to be like it.
So how can you balance all these things going around you with living for your purpose? Reading the word always helps me see things clearer and having a list of verses that speak on this matter makes every decision easier. So as a self proclaimed ‘Queen of lists’ I’ll write these down below and explain how each of these can be applied.
1. Does it make God happy?
“The Lord takes pleasure in his people.” Psalm 149:4A
You’re whole life is meant to make God happy so every little thing you do must do the same. If you really want to do something but you’re not sure if it’s too worldly, ask yourself this question. Go out and have fun with your friends but don’t do anything that would upset God in the name of fun. Go shopping and buy what you like but don’t buy anything that goes against the word.
2. Are you relying on what God said?
“The Lord is pleased with those who worship him and trust his love.” Psalm 147:11
So many of our actions are based on our own knowledge and past experiences. We make pros and cons lists and we get online and do our research. We think we’re capable of making the best decision. The truth is that we’re just human. We’re full of mistakes. We shouldn’t be looking for other’s advise but look to God because whatever you’re struggling with, He already gave you grace to handle. All we have to do is trust him. It’s that simple. Don’t ever make a decision based on your own knowledge but always follow his guidance.
3. Are you letting God use you for his purpose?
“Surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes.” Romans 16:13B
Sometimes it’s easier to do what we want without thinking about whether it’s the same think that God wants. If you feel like you get any opportunity to get closer to God or bring him glory, you should choose that over your own worldly desires. And trust me, I know this can be really difficult. But God promises that at the end of the day, everything you do for him will not go unnoticed. And take a minute to think about this, Why would you choose to climb the social ladder instead of staying humble and being a loyal servant to your creator? Why would you choose to gain worldly popularity instead of making God proud? Everything you have can all be taken away except for your relationship with the Lord and I promise that if you dedicate your life to him, nothing else can make you feel inferior or dissatisfied.
4. Are you acting like you’re part of God’s family?
“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:5A
We’re constantly facing struggles and making decisions in our social life. Whether it be with family, friends or co workers, none of us are alone all the time. We all might have disagreements from time to time but it’s important to not let it define the way you treat everyone.
In today’s world, having an attitude is more celebrated than being kind which is often understood as being a ‘doormat’. What have you read about handling people lately? Don’t let anyone have the last say, If they wrong you, cut them off! If they’re not advantageous, no point in playing nice…Be honest here. If someone upset you, it’s become more acceptable to cut them off and talk about it with your friends. But we’re supposed to look at God and try to reflect his love in everything we do. It is in fact our responsibility to make sure we’re on good terms with each other. “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.” Romans 12:18
So why not try to accept everyone as they are? Loosen up on your expectations and recognize that they are all part of your family. It saves you so much unnecessary emotional drainage. It’s hard to let go of hurt and disappointment but it’s harder to live with them. So as much a challenge as this is, whenever you feel hurt, know that God gave you the grace to do the right thing and you should love his family as he loves you. Even if they sin against you, don’t hold it against them. After all, you’re a sinner too so there’s no reason to play the ‘holier than thou’ part.
5. Will it make you more like Christ?
“As the spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.” 2 Corinthians3:18B
The question “What would Jesus do?” is very underrated. Do you know how much you could transform if you applied this to every part of your life? Your life and daily goal is to try to your best to be more like Christ. Every single action you ever take can bring glory to God if you try yo be like Christ.
So if there is anything that you don’t really feel like doing (Helping a friend with a task, reaching out to someone that hurt you or even going to a social event!…) take the opportunity to build your character and practice being more like Christ. I promise there’s not better feeling than reflecting God in your actions.
Like I said, you can apply this to EVERY part of you life. Family? How would Christ treat his family? Friends? same? Job? Would Christ ‘hate his job’ and become ‘really annoyed’ with it? Or would he look at it as an opportunity to show how believers behave. Even the most mundane tasks like cleaning your apartment can be an opportunity to treat what God blessed us with, respectfully. Basically, be as Christian as possible.
Don’t be the type of Christian that makes non believers feel excluded. This takes away from our character and trying to build our Lord’s family. If a sorority is recruiting, they give you the impression of warmth and kindness so you want to be a part of their community, don’t they? They don’t act cold and stand offish or you won’t want to be part of what they have. In the same sense, You should be as Christ like as you best can and you can better achieve your purpose and show what God is all about, love!
6. Will it help you grow?
“Let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God- What is good and pleasing to him and is perfect.” Romans 12:2B
God wants us to grow! And with the obsession of quirks and ‘standing our ground”, we’re sometimes a little too stubborn and limit the transformation God has planned for us. You don’t need to carry the burden of pretending to be righteous all the time. It’s okay to have made mistakes. Let yourself grow from it. Don’t be ashamed and continue to live in the shadow of it.
There have been multiple times when I have fallen from faith and I felt too ashamed to make a ‘comeback’ and live in light so I wasted so much time repeating the same sins because I was too scared of being judged by others for not standing by my word. Don’t do this. Your purpose is too great to slip back into wrong habits because of social pressure.
If you have an opportunity to reflect on what you did and move further into the right path, take it every time. Don’t be stubborn! Let God transform you and keep growing.
7. Does it comply with God’s truth?
“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
This is one of the main questions you need to ask yourself while trying to be less worldly. So much of what’s out there is completely against God’s word. And a lot of believers just go along with it and try to justify their actions by cutting up God’s word to fit their popular lifestyle.
Don’t be afraid to tell the truth and live by the word. I can almost guarantee that this will make a lot of social encounters more confrontational but what’s your goal in life? Making your loving father proud or impressing people with your liberal views.
You need to accept that lot of people would much rather go with the crowd because it’s easier but you shouldn’t give up God’s word (the right opinion) because it might make them uncomfortable. In fact, explain your views in a civil fact based manner and you might change their mind. Most people don’t know what they’re agreeing to when they jump on the bandwagon. You would be surprised how many people change their minds as soon as they recognize the truth. And you can be sure you’re right because it’s not your opinion. You didn’t have to do any research to come to a conclusion. It’s the Lord’s word. Realize that it’s bigger than you and any opponent you can face.
8. Are your problems something to be bitter about?
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
We all face problems but it’s how we deal with them that defines us. Misunderstandings, financial issues, feeling alone…there are so many issues that we face that at face value seem to have no purpose. But God doesn’t put you through difficult situations for his entertainment, he has a plan. Take comfort in knowing that something always comes out of your pain. So when you’re facing the ups and downs of this temporary world, choose to see it as a test that helps you grow and accept the grace God gave you to handle it well and glorify God.
9. How are you handling the temptations of this world?
“God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it.When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13B
This world is full of temptations and the only way to keep your sight set on your eternal home is by realizing that your choice in giving in or fighting the temptation has eternal consequences. You already have the strength to defeat them but worldly desires make it easier to give in. It’s easier to ignore your purpose and live for yourself, it’s easier to bend the word to fit what you want to do…but that just gets you trapped in a temporary reality. You need to focus on your eternal purpose and tackle temptations like you want to make God proud more than anything else.
10. Are you using all your talents and gifts for the Service of God?
“God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purposed through them all.” 1 Corinthians 12:6
Many of us are obsessed with what we don’t have and we break ourselves trying to be who we are not. God created you with a purpose so everything you have is all you need to live for his service. If you can sing, use your voice for worship, if you can write, spread his word, if you were given abundant financial funds, spend it for his glory…whatever you have, use it for the purpose of serving the Lord-that’s why you have what you have.
A lot of people use their talents to glorify the world but you don’t get to choose your purpose. Everything you have is his and should only be used for his purposes. There’s no need for you to become anyone else to serve him. You are enough. The greatest pleasure comes from using all of your being to serve God.
11. Are you acting like a real servant?
“You can tell what they are by what they do.” Matthew 7:16
Everything seems to be about getting a higher title these days. Lost is the art of being a humble servant and it’s now more about showy and pretentious lives. We’re so wrapped up in being “equals if not superior” that we almost get offended by the idea of being a servant.
Being a servant doesn’t mean being a pushover. It means having all the holy characteristics of a servant. (You can read more in depth about these characteristics in this book by Pastor Rick Warren.) Being a servant is rewarded by God. “If you give even a cold cup of water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42. Just look at our role model, Jesus Christ. He is the holy son of God that came to save us. Yet he bowed down to all these sinners to serve them humbly. This didn’t embarrass him at all. It brought good name to the family of believers and glorified God.
So who are we to have big egos and refuse to serve our fellow brothers and sisters? Don’t buy what the world tells you about respect. You don’t make happy by looking down on people but by being a real servant.
12. Are you living your mission?
“The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me.” Acts 20:24
You weren’t put on earth just to wander through the world. You have a mission and everything you do should be about your mission. Think of it as your ultimate goal. When you’re breaking it down to short term goals, keep in mind what outcome you are aiming for. Your goal should never be about what brings you joy but should tie into your only mission on earth.
There have been multiple books written about how futile it is to live without direction. If you think about it, waking up everyday and working 8 hours and sleeping can’t be all you’re made for. So make it a goal to live every second of your life in accordance with your mission.
13. Are you expanding your horizons?
Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world and tell the good news to everyone.” Mark 16:15
Nothing is a mistake, including your nationality, who you grew up with, what you look like. And these all help you in your mission. Each of these help you connect with different parts of your community or fulfill your purpose a certain way. But these are not limitations. You are not limited to where you can spread your mission to.
We aren’t meant to be stuck wherever we were born. Actually, it’s our job to spread our wings and help societies join the right path in our loving family. Go out and reach people to make them feel God’s love. When you get opportunities to leave the familiar, you could use it to expand your reach and fulfill your mission. And you don’t need to move to the opposite side of the world to reach people our of your community. As per number 10 on this list, you can use your talents to spread what you know. Do you know how many people musicians can affect? Imagine how big and strong our eternal family can be if we all used our talents and gifts to bring the world to our Lord.
I really hope this can reach as many people as possible. This was by far my favorite post to write and I hope it helps everyone that reads it. Let me know what you think and comment below!