With this word mulling in my mind I sit staring blankly at my computer screen…. Admirable, admirable, admirable…. The definition of admirable is to deserve respect; honourable; praiseworthy. The old Latin word was ‘admirabilis’ meaning to be wondered at. I don’t know about you but these things seem pretty huge.
First thing that strikes me is the differences between what the Lord says is ‘honourable’ and what the world might cheer or praise about:
The contrast between what the world thinks is ‘cool’ and what God tells us is right, is worlds apart. The world will tell you swearing is cool–God says that we are not to have foul words come from our mouths (Ephesians 4:29-31; 5:4).
The world says step on everyone else to reach your goals–God tells us to love and serve others and to follow the paths He has for us (Matthew 5: 40-48, Proverbs 3:5-6).
The world says we can be dishonest, lie and cheat to benefit ourselves–God says we ought to be truthful and trustworthy (Leviticus 19:11, Colossians 3:8-9).
We live in such a fallen and corrupted world that we might even be confused about what is considered ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ these days. We are bombarded by a society that professes worldliness to such an extent of dictating our lives. What we ‘ought’ to wear, how we ‘ought’ to look, talk and even what we ‘ought’ to fill our minds with.
I challenge you to stop for just a few seconds and think of what the latest advert you saw said:
What was the message of the latest movie you watched?
What were the lyrics of the last song you listened to?
We are in a world where everything happens at 100 kilometers an hour–where we have busy schedules, cramped weeks, and insanely busy months. We are naturally being programmed to rush through life. You don’t STOP to consider what you are allowing into your life. Instead of questioning the motives of the director of a movie–we ‘just’ watch it. What if you paused the clock for once and carefully considered what you are about to partake in? What if you paid clear attention to the lyrics of the song blaring over the radio….? What if you were actually sensitive to the amount of blasphemies that are spoken in a series you love?
I believe as Christians it is our duty to be holy. God says be holy as I am holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). We are supposed to be conformed more and more into His image the closer we are to Him. We are supposed to be the SALT and the LIGHT. Light does not mix with darkness and Salt doesn’t leave something unseasoned. Light is supposed to expose the hidden things done in the dark. Salt is supposed to cleanse and purify as to preserve. As Christians we ought to look different than the world, we ought to talk differently and think differently.
Matthew 5: 13-16
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5: 13-16
So how can this be applied practically to our lives that our conduct is portrayed as ‘admirable’?
Establish your morals–standards before going out into the world. This would seem like a no-brainer but it is SUCH an important part of how we live. You should prayerfully choose what your morals are and be sure to have a reasonable reason for them (God’s Word is always the best place of find these reasons).
Be practical–would I allow swearing in my house? Why or why not? Would I watch a movie with explicit sex scenes and other objectionable contents in it? What does God’s Word say about these things? Would I laugh at those crude jokes? Why or why not? Is it right to lie to your friend about where you truly were last night? Go do this research for yourself in God’s Word. Establish your morals, have admirable conduct, live a life according to God’s standards and not the world’s!
What you wear DOES make a difference. Unintentionally you usually make your first judgement about someone by how they look. There is a huge power in physical appearance. Dress appropriately!
Pay attention to what you allow into your mind. You might not think of it this way, but every media device, every song, every movie and book that you look at, listen to and read are ultimately put into your mind. So be careful about what you allow to influence you. (Matthew 5:22-23)
Be aware of how you talk–the way you conduct your tongue is a big deal. Think about it before you talk about it… (Matthew 12:34b-37)
Choose your friends carefully. They can encourage, challenge, and lift you up or they can drag you down.
I am sure there are many more points we can look at… and I challenge you to do that, but for now I wanted to give you several practical ways to order your life as to have it admirable according to God’s standards and not what the world shouts at us from every corner.
Ask the Lord to reveal to you what it is that you should change in your life; sometimes we need the correction in order to come out better on the other side. Remember, we are to become more and more like Him. May He equip you to do the hard things and may you be strengthened by making the correct decisions even when you are alone. We answer to Him, not to the world.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2