My daughter who is almost 9 years old has begun asking a lot of questions. She wonders why people do the things they do, or say the things they say. Why do people participate in the things that are inappropriate or against the law? Why are people so angry and unforgiving? We have had many discussions on this topic as she is growing older. I teach my child that we are all with sin and sometimes we make wrong choices. The Bible is clear that “we all fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That being said, I also encourage her to look at herself and not to be the sin police. As Christians that is not what we are about. Romans 2:1 tells us “we are not to pass judgment on anyone else”. However, in having these discussions so frequently, I have concluded that a lot of times my answer to her is of one simple statement: People do what people see.
The people we grow up with, the people we are exposed to, and those we hang around have a lot of influence over us, wouldn’t you agree? So it makes perfect sense that people do what people see. If we grow up with parents who make a particular wrong choice/action, it is very likely we too will make those choices.
This topic really hit me hard a few years ago. My daughter was becoming very sassy and yelling back at me a lot. I began to wonder, how on earth do I correct this? God revealed to me that I needed to take a long look in the mirror. Many times when I was confronted with something I didn’t like or agree with my first reaction was to yell about it. Well no wonder my child was behaving the way she was, she was being taught this by watching me.
I bet if you look hard at situations in your own life you can identify with what I am talking about. Taking a look at ourselves in the mirror is sometimes a very hard thing to do, but it is necessary in our walk with Christ. Corinthians 5:17 tells us that “if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation”. This means we have to continually look at ourselves and our character defects. Colossians 3:8 tells us “we must rid ourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips”. Thessalonians 4:7-8 reminds us that “God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit”.
My point is we are all struggling with something. As Christ followers we have to continually strive to be better and more like Christ. This takes a lot of hard work and desire. Most of the things we have learned in our lives are how to sin. Not many of us have been taught how to be Holy. People do what people see. What are you doing that you have been taught, but want to change? Being like Christ is a lifelong practice but as we seek Him our desire to be more like Him becomes stronger than our desire to sin. 1 John 3:6 tells us “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning”. My prayer for you is that you will ask God today what it is that He would have you change. Remember God loves you “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).