Called to Holy Living
Millions of Americans live like they have a limit-free credit card. According to nerdwallet.com, the average household owes more than $7,000 on credit cards. Taking only indebted households increases the average to more than $15,000. As of April 2014, American consumers owed more than $11.6 trillion in debt. That included $854 billion in credit card debt, $8.2 trillion in mortgages and $1.1 trillion in student loans.
It isn’t easy to have someone tell you “no” but sometimes that is a good thing. “No, you can’t charge everything in sight.” “No, you can’t stay out until dawn and expect to be ready for tomorrow.” “No, you can’t live however you please and expect to have peace.” What would have happened if you tried that as a kid? Ignore your curfew and you may have been grounded for a week. Spend the money Mom gave you to get groceries on a wild time and you may have had to pick up a part-time job to pay her back. If you wasted your allowance and wanted more, would your parents have done? Shelled out the money? Or said, “Tough luck”?
God set down ways for you to live, too. The world may proclaim: “Do whatever you want.” Not God. Paul, a close follower of Jesus, took a journey to the island of Crete with his friend, Titus. After Titus stayed there, Paul wrote a letter advising him how to live—and what to teach others. Paul said God wants people to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives.” The same message appears in one of Paul’s letters to Timothy, another pastor. Paul said that God “saved us and called us to a holy calling” (2 Timothy 1:9, ESV).
This may sound forbidding and joyless. But holy living is a call to be different. To be unique. Instead of seeking to satisfy your cravings and personal pleasures, a holy life aims to please God. To demonstrate self-control and show more concern for others than yourself. It may not sound like fun today. But it won’t leave you looking at a mountain of debt, regrets, or hangovers tomorrow.
A Challenge For You…
Read 2 Timothy 1:8-12. How does your life line up with the instructions in this passage? What three changes do you sense God telling you to make in the way you live? What friend will you tell about it?
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