Sunday, January 15, 2012

You Know Better

You Know Better
January 16, 2012
Philippians 3:16 "Only let us live up to what we have already attained."

When you were younger did you ever have a parent or other adult catch you in the act of doing something foolish? There is a look an adult can give that suggests we should have known better. You've seen it; I'm sure. The look says, "You should know better than to do that; your actions are disappointing." Just reading this likely brings back memories of times long gone, of doing something you now regret, something you should have known better than to do but you did it anyway. All of us are guilty of this, having done something childish when we should have known better than to do such a thing. In fact, I'm not sure we ever grow out of this, overcoming this in life. My wife pointed out a recent article she read about an eighty-year old man caught in foolish crime, a childish act. She shook her head in frustration and suggested to me, that at his age, he should have known better. At what point do we ever mature?

The Bible speaks clearly about this, as the Apostle Paul had the same frustrations with some of his church members. There were individuals making some decisions that were disappointing to Paul. He reminded the church that they were better than that. He reminded them of their spiritual maturity and told them that he expected better out of them. He coached them to rise above their foolish acts, challenging them to live up to the level of maturity they had already attained. It is easy to forget that we have come a long way in our walk with the Lord, overcoming so many childish ways. But for some reason we continue to have weak moments, we revert back to doing foolish things, things that we know are less than what we should do at our level of maturity. We act childishly in our jobs, in our marriages, with our children, even in front of the Lord. And if we are honest about it, we all know better.

We slip into a pattern of making foolish decisions, doing things we would warn others not to do, yet reason we cannot rise above it ourselves. The Lord would say that today is a new day and a chance to be better than we were yesterday. The Lord would say that we should try again, forgetting the failures of the past and rising to the level of maturity He has cultivated inside of us. He would tell us to rise above the past that He has brought us through. Though you might have made some poor decisions yesterday, today is a new day, a day to make it right, to be better. Remember that we are a new creation in Christ and that our old self is behind us. We need to continually put the old, immature self behind us.

When we act foolishly, it doesn't just bring shame upon ourselves, but it also reflects poorly on the Lord, as we are a representation of Him on this earth. When we wear the badge of Christianity, our lives should be pointing to the Lord and the work He has done inside of us. Many of us have been changed radically by the Lord, bringing us out of a miry past filled with bad decisions. Each day is a new chance to represent the Lord to others, displaying the level of Christianity that brings honor to Him, being mature in all that we do, staying far away from the past from which we have been forgiven. If you've done some disappointing things, today is an opportunity to rise above that, showing others the maturity that is inside of you, showing others the work that the Lord has done in your life. Represent Him well; you know better than that.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: 1 Cor 13:11, 1 Cor 14:20, 2 Cor 3:18, 2 Cor 5:17, Phil 3:15-17

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