Ephesians 5 - Living a life that pleases


We live in an age where we are encouraged to please ourselves. We are told it is our right to have what we want, when we want at almost any cost. If you think it will make you happy have it, the only rule is to please yourself.

Living for God's glory completely dismisses that whole idea, it does not fit or belong. Does it mean that you won't get what you want? Does it mean you won't be happy? Not at all - in fact what you may just find is meaning in what you need, rather than gratification in what you want.

Chapter 5 of Ephesians is one of those ones that feeds the rumours that Christianity is a list of things you can't do, the things that would spoil the fun of those that don't yet know the love of Christ. It contains the things we, as Christians, should stay away from, and they are the things the world covets and believes it needs.

So what is it the world thinks they're missing out on by living a life pleasing to God?

Sexual immorality and impurity - Christians do have sex, good sex, but they don't believe in giving their body to just anyone. Sex is a gift that was created by God as an expression of love between one man and one woman. It is something special, not a commodity, purity is a freedom not a penalty.

Greed -  In the western world we are saturated with too much, whether we believe it or not we have over and above what we need. We do have poverty in the Western world, but necessity is very different here. I struggle when I see a news report of a family living in poverty, struggling to eat but running TV's, cable, laptops and mobiles. These things have become a necessity and greed does not allow them to be given up for another necessity like food. We are consumers and our wants have become our needs.

Obscenity - Walk through any play park and you will hear foul language coming from the mouths of children as young as four. I once heard a mother swearing at her child, while telling him off for swearing, and then wondering why he does it. There is nothing beautiful about a foul mouth, it is believed that those who curse have limited vocabulary and are less intelligent. I think it is just another accepted degradation in our ability to communicate.

So if you are living to please God, what looks different?

Sex and Purity - You may struggle and battle but you fight to keep your body from becoming a fairground. You strive to give sex it's place as something loving and special.
Greed - You seek contentment in what you have, controlling your environment so that it does not control you.
Obscenity - Your mouth speaks love and encouragement and engages in conversation.

You may argue you can do these things without Jesus and I agree maybe you can, but the purpose and impact will be lost. There will be no meaning or strength, you may no longer be living to please yourself, but who then are you living for?

Living in the light means allowing that light to shine through your life. Living to please the Lord, for his glory does not mean a life missing the fun things of the world, in fact a life lived for God protects from the damage and emptiness of those things.


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this it is a great reminder about how life looks as a Christian, thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays, blessings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Terri for your encouragement :)

      Delete