Per the norm, humans think they are sneaky and can get away with things. Doesn’t end well when we start being sneaky. We must remember that as a Christian we have an image to uphold. That image is to be Christ-like. Meaning following the commandments of God and having proper conduct. When I say conduct, I don’t mean table manners. If you can eat with your feet then I am honestly impressed. I’m talking more about how you act in this world. Cussing, drinking, lying, devious actions, breaking rules and many more. As Christians, we can be having conduct similar to a punk kid.
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:11-12 ESV)
We have to keep this image of Christ maintained. Doing so, the lost who don’t know Christ will see good rather than bad. People are judgmental. If someone knows you are a Christian and they know you cuss and drink, then they won’t see proper conduct, but a lifestyle of this world. We don’t want to share what this world gives, but what God gives through the Holy Spirit in lives.
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27 NIV)
Have the conduct necessary for being a Christian is darn tootin’ important. Especially of those who want to be leaders in a church or hope God uses them in missions to evangelize and share the gospel. If you are going to be a pastor, but publicize that you drink and brag to others about it. Don’t be upset or surprised when that job opportunity hits the fan. Take that experience and realize your conduct is not Christ-like and reevaluate. To be a leader, you must rid yourself of distracting things of this world. That gains respect, an image to follow. No one wants to follow a rough around the edges and cuts corners kind of leader. They want a well kept, disciplined, caring leader.
“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.” (Proverbs 25:26 NIV)
We as Christians follow Christ because of his pure teachings and many more reasons. If Jesus would carry a bottle of whiskey to every place he went, would you listen? Would you follow? What if he had a mouth worse than a sailor? Or lied to people for the fun of it? No one wants to follow behind a leader that stinks. That misconduct, sinning, that stinks. Instead, we want to follow someone who smells like brownies and flowers or good conduct and following the commandments. Good or evil, pick one. See, most people would rather swim in a clean ocean than a murky pond.
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:16-26 NIV)
Now with the Spirit in us, we are to live by its fruits, and not by the spoiled sacked lunch of the world. We are to walk in the Spirit, that’s the brownies and flowers smell. A great leader stays away from the flesh desires and sticks to the fruits. Living for those worldly desires will get you nothing, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. It is meaningless to live by those desires.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:5-10 NIV)
If we live with those desires for this world, God cannot be with us. He is holy and that cannot be with evil. Actually, read that previous verse again. It hits this all head on.
What I’m trying to say here is that as Christians we must keep a reputation in our life that exceeds this world and matches Christ. Difficult, I know. Consider this a warning, going out of state to drink and party and saying you’re a missionary kinda sounds ridiculous. Bragging about how much unmarried sex you get, but being a youth leader is downright sad. Stealing and lying to your friends and family about money, but saying you are going to be a church planter is awful. Reevaluate what your image looks like. Is it glorifying God? Is it helping the Spirit guide you to share the gospel? Are you following the commandments given by God? Check yo self. Love by the Spirit and not this world.