Conduct Matters

June 11, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "We Praise Thee O God"1 (Lyrics)

"Why does it matter? It's not hurting anyone but me."

I once owned a habit about which I thought the above. I could engage in this practice while driving and not kill anyone. And unless someone were sitting in close proximity to me, my habit didn't affect them either. Sure, it was expensive, but my creditors received their dues. I even checked with my conservative father about the ethical nature of my habit. He told me that it was a personal preference. So I kept my practice, until I began teaching a Sunday School class and eventually pastoring a church. Then, my conduct didn't seem to fit anymore.

Conduct matters when living the good life. Paul refers to it as "righteousness": an upright, moral life of right conduct.

Titus 2:12 – And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God. (NLT)

Christ's sacrifice, when accepted, frees us from sin's power and control. What enslaved us before doesn't have to anymore. There is no sin that He can't empower us to overcome, and no unhealthy habit or relationship that He can't enable us to abandon.

Power for right conduct resides in God's Spirit, who dwells in all believers. He's our Sustainer, Comforter, and the One who guides and empowers us toward right conduct. The One residing in us is greater than anything lurking outside us. Proper conduct is essential because of the message it sends to others. Unless we practice what we profess, our witness will falter and eventually sink. Correct conduct also prepares us to meet Christ, whether at His return or at death. Hiding our gifts and talents, while displaying what is better avoided, will draw His rebuke and result in loss of eternal rewards. Is our conduct accurately reflecting who we are in Christ?

Prayer: Almighty God, when our enemy tempts us to conduct that will destroy our testimony for You, strengthen us for victory by the power of Your indwelling Spirit. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, as always, Martin.


    Lori, thanks for this message. Did my heart good. Blessings on your family.


    Great message Martin – Amen to your prayer!
    Blessings.


    Hello Martin, it’s good to have you share again today with us. Please continue to as I always get something from you doing so.
    (In)


    Lori,
    Beautiful, I could feel like I was in your living room watching the birds myself. I love the tie in with the scripture.
    Keep on writing.


    Dear Martin:
    I believe your devotional demonstrates the power of the Gospel. Just as a tree can hold on to it’s leaves all winter, the new life that comes with spring pushes them off. As we grow in grace, the new life pushes whatever part of the old life needs to go off.
    God bless.


    Hi Martin,
    Needless to say you have excited an entire audience into anxiousness to know just what the habit you “owned” was. And while we are naturally happy that you no longer practice whatever it was, I for one should like to know. With the rest of you sentiments, I totally agree.
    Blessings.


    Dear Martin;
    A good wake up call to all of us! I remember a time when I first became a Christian. My husband and I drank a lot and usually ended up fighting (words not physically). I remember wondering how I am ever going to give up my drinking. I didn’t have to give it up, Jesus took the taste for alcohol away. Once in a blue moon, I will have a glass of wine, but mostly I have absolutely no craving anymore that I used to and that was over 40 years ago. If we are not able, Jesus is able! Now with that being said, why am I having so much trouble with my weight?!!!


    Dear Martin –
    Thanks for the good word. People are watching us. God bless you.

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