“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him… ” (1 Kings 18:21b)
When we begin to tolerate in ourselves the world’s godless values based as they are on lust and pride, we inevitably begin sliding toward:
A chronically restless desire for more of whatever we think will bring satisfaction to our unsettled and nervous lives.
An insistence on moral autonomy that resists any pressure toward restraint or accountability.
An appetite for power and recognition that seeks to control or manipulate others.
Christ, however, calls us to a radically changed set of values.
- Contentment, which is giving our work our best effort and then resting the results in God’s sovereign hands. The alternative is a nervous, complaining spirit, which is displeasing to Him. (1 Corinthians 10:10; 1 Timothy 6:6)
- Purity, which is choosing to live a life unsullied by the world’s filth and corruption. Paul instructed young Timothy, “Do not participate in the sins of others, keep yourself pure.” (1 Timothy 5:22)
- Simplicity, which is “ freedom,… [bringing] joy and balance. [But] because we lack a divine Center, our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things… “
- Frugality, which is the product of a disciplined mind and inner self-control. By practicing thrift, we prudently choose to put boundaries on our appetites and inclination toward self-indulgence. Character is being forged. “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Do without.“
- Modesty, which is demonstrated in the fact that the incarnate God chose to be born in a cattle shed, and grow into manhood in the out-of-the-way village of Nazareth. No evidence here of ostentatious abuse of power or position. Rather, moderation and humility.