RIGHTEOUS LIVING REQUIRES COURAGE
Today’s scripture reading brought me to 1 Peter 1:15. Initially I read the verse in the Message version. Then, as I often do in my studies, I compared translations and versions to get a better understanding of the context. This interpretation in the Amplified Bible Version provided an additional description that I hadn’t seen before—COURAGE.
Righteous Living requires COURAGE. You need courage to stand up for righteousness and courage to speak out against unrighteousness—especially when it’s not be convenient to do so.
In today’s politically diverse climate, we live in a time where almost anything goes. Societal attitudes include beliefs such as “what’s right for you may not be right for me and that’s ok” —and— “everyone is equal”. Please understand—I’m not saying that those intentions are all bad. However—despite good intentions to increase tolerance of differences and acceptance of others—this thinking has led to the acceptance of hedonism, diminished the sanctity of life, devalued the quality of family life and even the marriage relationship.
Is it possible to turn this big ship around?
God says we are to stand up for righteousness. We are to be courageous. However, elsewhere the Word tells us that we are to do so with an attitude of respect and kindness.
Social and political activism encourages the moral compass to move in the right direction. I think all Christians should be politically active and participate in good social causes. Elsewhere—in our homes and workplaces—we need to focus on our own lives, being attentive to the changes that we need to make in ourselves as the Holy Spirit guides us in our daily walk.
Changing ourselves and living in holiness requires courage. In our homes and workplaces, we need to stand up and say no to the negative influences that permeate our environment. It means closing our eyes and our ears to the things that would pull us away from holiness. Whether it’s turning off the TV, walking away from the computer, or excusing ourselves from an unhealthy conversation, we need to practice holiness in our everyday walk.
We can’t change society overnight. But we do need to participate in social action for righteousness, so that the policies that drive unrighteousness are pressured to change. And, we should never underestimate our daily influence to change others. We influence others by FIRST changing ourselves. As others see how we live, their souls may be pricked to make some changes in their own lives.