Perhaps it was the movie “Wall Street” that finally brought things out into the open. All those attitudes and actions that we publicly disavowed but privately engaged in soon began being accepted after that movie when Gordon Gekko, the fictional character, uttered these famous words: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” In a nation that had grown and developed under Christian principles, now the disavowal of those principles suddenly became acceptable and expected. If greed was now, in fact, good, what other Christian ideals have been suppressing good things? While no one stated that question explicitly, many lived their lives in an apparent quest to discover lifestyles and activities that could now be called good.
The movie only revealed the changes that were happening in society. Society in throwing off the “shackles” of Christian thought had begun to look at that which was good, according to God’s word and began calling it evil, or at best, outdated. Meanwhile, what the Bible called evil was now considered good. Christians who do not fall in line with this different morality have become outcasts and are marginalized in society. Paul had to remind Christians way back in the early church days that there is a difference in lifestyles for those who follow God. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8)
While Paul continued to talk about salvation by grace and the need to live in grace, he also pointed out that grace should teach about good and evil; about light and dark. Our lifestyles will reflect who we really decide to follow. If we follow Christ and have received His grace, we will walk as children of the light. In America today, that has truly become a “Counter-culture” lifestyle. The choice that Christians had to make in Paul’s day still exists today: Do I “go with the flow” and live for acceptance of society, or do I live each day allowing the grace of God to guide my actions? Paul would remind us also to live as children of the light.
What does that mean for us who claim to be followers of Christ. First, if we are saved by grace and grow in our Christian faith in grace we need to be seeking sources of grace to guide us. We should not be following the mores of society, or basing our understanding of right and wrong on what politicians or judges may say. We understand and grow in grace when we read God’s word and seek Him in prayer. A lot of the decisions we make will not be based on specific Biblical passages – let’s face it, you’re reading this on a computer which isn’t mentioned in the Bible – but the guidelines for living and growing in grace are found by seeking God’s guidance. Choose today: will you live in the darkness of a society that has turned against God, or live in the light of God’s grace?
Lord, help me to live in Your grace. When I begin to stray from grace, remind me of Your grace and mercy. Prevent me from following the standards of a society that has turned against You and let my life reflect Your desires: Your grace.