Every culture has a set of standards they use to measure success, failure, and acceptance. What is allowed in the Western cultures may not be allowed in the Eastern cultures and visa versa. However, no matter where a person is, there will be rules, processes and consequences for their actions. The same is true of those who claim to follow Christ.
When we were “of the world,” living as the world’s standards dictated, we knew that if we wanted to be called successful we would need to wear a certain type of clothes, drive a particular model of car/truck, and it goes on and on. The vacations, the schools attended, the activities on the weekends, all of it is measured by what society says is acceptable. Which also means the standards can change.
As Christians however, the standards by which we live are simple, resolute, and clear. We are to live as Christ did, with grace, compassion, honesty, and humility. His way is never changing, always certain, albeit impossible to accomplish on our own. Gratefully, we have Scripture to remind, encourage, and correct us as we journey in life. Galatians is full of verses about how to live and the standards by which we should live.
For example, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 NIV).
We are no longer in charge of our lives when we accept Christ. His presence fills us, the Holy Spirit leads us to live with evidence of His presence in us (John 14:26). 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 (Galatians 5:22-25 NIV).
Therefore, when we interact with others, it will be evident Who we follow because of what we leave behind. If we claim Christ leads us, then the standards we use will be His standards (Philippians 2:5-11). Selflessness and humility, putting others first, remembering that what we do is a direct reflection of the God we claim to obey.
You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth (Ephesians 4:22-24 HCSB).
I realize there are a number of verses in this post, but I have found surrounding myself with verses will help me keep my focus on what and Who matters most. Best Beloved, my prayer is that when you look forward in your life, you will remember the standards you are living by and seek to follow the God Who loves you most.