Finally, our friends, you learnt from us how you should live in order to please God. This is, of course, the way you have been living. And now we beg and urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to do even more. For you know the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy and completely free from sexual immorality. (verses 1-3)
Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that becoming a Christian means giving up on having an enjoyable life. Of course it does mean rejecting the sorts of things which some mistakenly see as being part of the good life, for instance, the ‘eat, drink and be merry’ and the ‘wine, women and song’ philosophies. As a response to God’s great love for me, I want to live a life of gratitude to him and respect and love for others. I do not want to demean my life by living in lust and self-gratification.
Ironically, the self-indulgent good life is really the bad life. In the end it not only proves to be self-destructive but also delivers more pain than pleasure. It is also morally reprehensible and displeasing to God. On the other hand, living life according to God’s rules is not only good in his sight but is also the recipe for being happy, healthy and peaceful. It can be good fun as well.
God loved us enough to send his Son to die in order to save us. He also gave us his law to guide us in how to live. It is not a fence to imprison us but rather a barrier to prevent us from coming to harm.
Dear God, as I strive to live in obedience to you, give me the insight to understand how being good is the best life to live. Amen.
by Richard Hauser, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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