“For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.”(1 Peter 4:3-4 NKJV)
There’s the way we used to live, and there’s the way we (are supposed to) live. As Peter wrote about our former way of life and the things we used to do, it’s easy to see that people down through the ages have lived that way. It’s easy to engage in a lifestyle that encourages us to experience sensual pleasures of all types. Peter noted that when we enter into a relationship with Christ, that changes. Our joy comes not from satisfying our sensual desires, but from growing in our relationship with God. Then, just as now, the changed lives of Christians shock non-believers who can’t understand why we don’t do all the things they do .
If I’m being honest, I fit in a lot of the categories that Peter mentioned before I came to Christ. I’m not going to focus on any of them, though, because what’s more important is that as Jesus has worked on me (and He still does) I’ve changed. The joy I experience in life comes from living each day in His presence. God didn’t love me because I stopped engaging in any of those activities. I stopped doing those things because as I grew closer to God, I wanted to get rid of any distractions that kept me from experiencing His presence in my life. Christians should live in a way that’s distinctive from the culture, and those who criticize us should not be able to accuse us of those things we would all call sin; they should only be able to accuse us of not joining them in their worldly ways. When we fail to maintain that distinction, how can we claim to be different because of Jesus Christ?
Lord, thank You for changing my life. Continue to work in me so that I will reflect the same love and grace to others that You showed to me. Let the changes in my life influence others to seek You.