Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 215 NLT
I’m a football fan, so I’ve followed the latest controversy surrounding the New England Patriots. They’ve been accused of tampering with their footballs, deflating them just a little to make them easier to throw and catch.
Many football fans (not just Patriots fans) shrugged it off. “So what if they did? Everybody cheats.” “Happens all the time. Why make a big deal out of it now?”
Late last week, I read an article discussing how authors manipulate the bestseller lists. They enlist other companies to make a huge purchase of a latest release that drives the book up the bestseller list, and so makes it appear more successful than it is. The troubling thing was the article focused on popular Christian authors. Names you would recognize if I mentioned them.
Again many of the responses were, “This is a common practice. There’s nothing wrong with it.”
But there is.
Did you notice there was no difference in the responses to unethical behavior whether it was a sports team or a writer known for being a Christian? No big deal. Everybody does it.
As believers, we are called to a very high standard of ethics and integrity, not simply higher than the culture around us. We are called to Christ-likeness.
We can ignore the call, embrace “common practice” and by that, show the world around us that the things we believe don’t really have the power to change anyone. Least of all us. It will confirm what they suspected of us all along.
Or we can choose to live differently.
We can choose to live clean, innocent lives. We can refuse to cut corners, or bend the rules. Not because we have to. Not because we want to prove we’re better than anyone else, but simply because we want to honor God. To be a people set apart for Him to use, to be the people He made us to be.