How to be In the World But Not of It – Representing Godly Behavior

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How to be in this World but Not of It – Representing Godly Behavior

As Christians this is a balance we are constantly trying to juggle.

We are called to put God at the forefront of everything!

God tells us to gather together with other Christians. And we are also commanded to reach out to others who don’t know Him yet.

We are asked to work side by side with non-Christians. But at the same time remain steadfast in the commandments God has laid out for us.

All the while having families, careers, friends, ministries, activities, and to-do lists.

It can feel overwhelming at times trying to do our worldly obligations well and efficiently and still remaining rooted in Jesus Christ.

I have not always had the opportunity to work in a Christian environment, as most of us don’t. It was incredibly difficult to hold true to my faith and still participate in the job expectations. And to be honest I didn’t always balance it well. Sometimes I did it poorly.

Thankfully we have a God of incredible mercy and grace! He has shown me how to be better at representing His Godly ways, while still living in this world. And not turning away non-believers.

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Jesus prays to God for us on this very subject.

John 17:13-19 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

I ask you to really soak that in today! Jesus prayed to God on our behalf. He prayed for our protection from the evil that surrounds us. Jesus has surrounded us with the protection of God’s word and truth so that we may lead others to God! Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for us so that we can have eternal protection!

Remain strong in that truth as you enter into worldly situations and activities.

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Know Your Boundaries

1 John 2:16 For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world.

We each have areas of our lives that are weak spots and can cause us to stumble if we are not careful. Take the time to know what weaknesses you have that could be a way for the devil to distract you. It could be gossip, alcohol, gambling, food, sexual desires, cussing, violent/graphic images, etc.

For example, alcohol is not a source of weakness for me. It is not difficult or problematic for me to meet friends at a bar for a social gathering. I don’t struggle with self-control in this area and am able to represent myself in an appropriate manner.

Now, food, however, is a source of weakness for me. I have always loved sweets! It is an area that self-control can waver significantly if I am not careful. So situations that include dinner outings, parties, and/or holiday get-togethers, I know that I have to guard myself to not be tempted and over-indulge in a way that is unbecoming to God.

 

As this is an area that I have continually struggled with, so I chose to give up added sugar in January 2017.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 

So by choosing to completely abstain from sugar it has taken away the temptation in that area and allowed me to continue to be able to engage with others during social gatherings.

For some, complete abstinence from your weakness may not be necessary. But take a genuine look at the areas of temptation and weakness in your life that may be stopping you from representing Godly behaviors as a Christian.

Represent Godly behavior well!

Let’s go back to my example about alcohol. If I am in a situation where others around me are choosing to get drunk, I do not become judgmental or critical of them. This is not the time or place to start quoting scripture about drunkenness.

That will only push others away.

I will, however, care for someone who may need it. Later, I will talk with that person gently and in love about my concerns for them. Gently and without judgment.

Please do not use any form of the phrase “You are going to be damned to Hell if you don’t…”

I have worked with non-Christian clients who have been told this by Christian friends and family. Understandably, it has turned them off even further from knowing, trusting, and believing in God.

We are, however, called to represent the fruit of the spirit characteristics to all we encounter. We are to meet others exactly where they are in the moment with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These Godly characteristics shine His light in your own heart as well as the hearts of others you are encountering.

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What to strive for!

2 Corinthians 1:12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace.

If I am to boast anything, this is what I want to boast about! I want to care for others in the holiness and sincerity of God. I want others to feel comfort and love in my presence that is beyond what I am humanly capable of on my own. My prayer is that people walk away from me wondering how I am able to have joy and love in the midst of everyday chaos! And I will be more than willing to share that message with them when they are ready!

My sincere prayer for you today is that this post meets you exactly where you are as well! I hope that you find encouragement in God’s word and tips from mine to help you live in this world but not be of it!

God Bless,
Melissa

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About Melissa

Melissa is a Christian mental health therapist, wife and mommy of two. She works with children, teens, adults, and couples to better manage their distress and hopefully become closer to God in the process.

23 comments on “How to be In the World But Not of It – Representing Godly Behavior

  1. Oddly, this skillful living is something I’m learning from my growing-up kids. We’ve homeschooled since kindergarten, but when it comes time for my boys to finally ride a bus in high school so they can attend vocational school in a nearby town, they are encountering “the world and all that dwells therein” on the bus. So far, they’ve been very matter of fact about setting boundaries, being themselves, and not being intimidated by the clash of cultures that is represented in this new setting. I love it! And I’m learning from them!
    Thanks for this great post!

    • We homeschool too. I also love that since we have done our best to provide a solid foundation based on God’s word and instill the skill of critical thinking, they also set boundaries and are comfortable with who they are! Thank you for reading and commenting! God bless!

    • Fellow homeschool mom here. Our kids teach us so much don’t they? I was amazed even when they were little what they taught me…now, I’m blown away! (ages 21, 18, graduates this year, 16 and 11)

  2. Beautiful Melissa. You reminded me of my younger days, a new babe in Christ. For a while, I still hung out with some of my old friends, I didn’t drink alcohol for a few years after I was saved, they noticed. But it wasn’t only that I didn’t drink anymore, they could see something different in me.

    “And I will be more than willing to share that message with them when they are ready!”

    Oh yes! I love this. Personally, I’ve waited for years to share the Gospel with some because the timing was never right.

    • Thank you! Sometimes people are ready much quicker than others to receive the gospel message but continued love, kindness, and gentleness will help get them there faster! Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

  3. I think knowing your boundaries is SUCH a key factor here. It is the same as knowing your weaknesses, your thorns in your side…we know what we struggle with and we can choose to give those things a wide berth. It does us no good to toe the line, just to see. I believe Jesus doesn’t want us in the throes of temptation all the time. He wants it to be simpler and gives us His prayers to cover us with peace.

    • I agree there is no need to toe the line! There are some things better left alone and avoided. Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

  4. I so agree. I find that many people are already inoculated from receiving the Gospel because of well-meaning but insensitive Christians. Our job is to be salt and light, not force feeders. I am able to share my testimonies with people who are not Christians because I have a relationship first and never push their boundaries.

    • It is tremendously sad how many people have been turned away from Christ because of His very people. Truth in love is how we are called to interact with people. Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

  5. Great post! I think one of the greatest ways to win others to Christ is to show them how different your life is with Him. We can and should respond to joys and tragedies much differently than the unsaved world because we have an eternal vision. We can and should have different marriages and families and friendships because we know the love of Christ and have the Holy Spirit. I love the reminder to show the fruits of the Spirit at all times! Pinning to share with others 🙂

    • Thank you! I’m glad the post resonated with you! It is an important balance to achieve. Live by God’s word and at the same time be His salt and light without presenting as pious. Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

  6. Knowing boundaries is what truly spoke to me! We all have areas of weakness and therefore times when temptation rears its ugly head. It is best to be aware of the devices of Satan, so when you are tempted, you know exactly how God will help you escape. Great post!

    • Thank you! Sometimes we believe we are strong enough and have enough will-power or self-control in all situations but our own strength will only carry us so far. It is better to flee or avoid the situation than be around temptation. Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

    • It is definitely a combination. We can’t strive if we don’t maintain our boundaries! Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

  7. Amen. Amen. Everyday I teaching myself to pray for God’s will in my life. I want to live for Him and through His blueprint. I have been thinking about how we never put God in our equations when looking for solutions to our problems Yet He is the solution

    • He is absolutely the solution! We won’t go wrong when we live by His standards! Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

  8. Knowing that Christ prayed for our protection from the evil that surrounds us is breathtakingly wonderful! Because the fact is our nation is getting more and more evil and unrestrained. All we need to do is shut off the world and yield to God and His Word to rise above the evil.

    • And it can be such a difficult balance to shut off the world to yield to God and at the same time have to participate in the world through jobs and attempting to bring others to His kingdom as well! Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

  9. My walk with Christ requires daily forgiveness and lots of prayers. Being an example, by responding with love, kindness, and compassion even when the world proclaims nothing but evil and hate.

    • This is so true. The only way we are going to guide to hearts of others towards our Lord is to respond to them with love, kindness, and compassion! Thank you for reading and commenting. God Bless!

    • It is Christ’s example. Sometimes we forget that and become judgmental of the people around us. I pray to work towards being more Christ-like daily. Thank you for reading and commenting! God Bless!

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