Leviticus 18.3-4 commands, do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. You must obey all My regulations and be careful to obey My decrees, for I am the LORD your God.
The other day I was accused of not being very Christian. The accusation was from a person who did not claim to be a Christian. This person, who didn’t use the ‘product’ seemed to know how the ‘product’ was to be used and according to him, I was doing it wrong.
While I wont get into the details the point is that people, in addition to God, expect Christians to live differently. Christians too believe this but struggle to differentiate their words, behaviors or habits from the rest of their culture.
The struggle was perhaps best epitomized by the phenom of WWJD a few years ago. Christians wanted to do what Jesus would do but since they couldn’t do miracles they struggled to live differently.
Today if Christians espouse their different beliefs toward two major issues of morality, abortion and homosexuality, they are considered bigots and haters whose views are to be fiercely rebuked.
Christians are more comfortable living incognito, like the browser. It looks like every other browser and does the exact same thing but none of the activity is recorded. Most Christians don’t talk to much about church, prayer or Bible study either.
God however expects different behavior too. Christians claim to be accountable to God. What makes Christians different besides their opinion on abortion and marriage between one man and one woman?
The key behavioral difference is unconditional and sacrificial love for people as Jesus demonstrated when He, as God, lived among us. This love is demonstrated by persistent kindness, humility, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, joy, peace and self-control toward people regardless of their response, words or actions toward us.
It does not mean acceptance of belief or behavior by the other person; Jesus wasn’t permissive toward everyone’s belief or behavior toward God, but it does mean loving by doing what is best for others even when their beliefs and behaviors are the antithesis of what God requires from us.
How did Jesus so thoroughly love people the way God wants us to love people? He knew the Scriptures and obeyed them perfectly.
If we would live differently by loving unequivocally we will study the Scriptures diligently and then obey them wholeheartedly.