How is it that Christians should behave/respond in various situations in which we find ourselves?
If you answer “Depends of the situation” you would be absolutely correct. It is also extremely advantageous and profitable for us that we have’s ‘book of standards’ that helps us along the way – our Bibles.
The question that follows is this: “What about those situations for which there is no specific command, or answer that is ‘caveman’ plain to guide our behavior?
Well, I’m glad you asked that question! I am happy to announce that we are even given guidance for the tough situations! Consider the following:
First, we have the very first teaching point found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism that, while not specific to any particular situation, asks and answers one of the greatest questions known to all men everywhere, in every language, tribe, and nation, across all time.
[a]. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11
[b]. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4
I invite you to consider both the Q&A and the scriptural support. After doing that you think it’s a wrong answer, contact me.
Then we have at least one preacher (there have been many more) that took the first premise (man’s chief end) to an even broader conclusion:
“Christianity says, “the end of all being is the glory of God.” Humanism says, “the end of all being is the happiness of men.” And one was born in hell – the deification of man. And one was born in heaven – the glorification of God.” – From a 1964 sermon by Paris Reidhead “Ten Shekels and a Shirt”
If you are still not convinced we have a passage from the Apostle Paul to the believers in Thessalonica that closes any loopholes we think we may have uncovered from the words of mere men:
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God.. – 1 Cor 10:31-32
The context of that passage had to do with idol feasts and partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and the ‘whatever you do’ is the loophole closer, and an airtight one at that.
“Whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God.”
When we are unsure of how to behave or how to respond to situations around us, we can always ask ourselves “Does this behavior/response Glorify God?”
Another question we might ask is: “How does my behavior/response help or hinder the proclamation of the Gospel to a lost and dying world?”
Bear in mind that those who are still in bondage to their sin are by nature rebels and enemies of God, looking for any excuse whatsoever to continue running from the God they know exists. Poor Christian behavior in the marketplace/public square by a professing believer will always provide a reason to keep running away from God (suppress the truth –[See Rom 1]). Non-believers, although they excuse certain behavior of other non-believers at times, have an uncanny knack for knowing how we ought to behave and calling us on it, all the while putting the ‘pedal to the metal’ in their flight from the truth that can save them from Hell and a Christless eternity.
There you have it. A bit of behavioral guidance for professing believers. How do we apply that guidance to our daily lives? Simple. Just ask yourself a couple of questions and let the answer guide your behavior.
Food for thought on a Sunday afternoon.