“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Earmarked for Excellence
(Please read Philippians 4:8)
Generally speaking, people in this country believe we live in a Christian nation and the majority probably would classify themselves as “good.” Yet men and women who are truly upright are uncommon enough to be outstanding in any community. They are admired by their friends and neighbors, and their influence can be very great.
Sometimes it is a non-Christian who is noted for high moral character, but not as a rule. For the highest standards of conduct were established by Jesus Christ. It is inherent in Christianity that his followers should live the cleanest lives and come closest to measuring up to his example. Indeed, they are his living letters, to be “known and read by everybody” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3, NIV). So the type of life which should be commonplace among practicing Christians must seem extraordinary to the observing world.
The divine standards are high, but not impossible of achievement. The Lord does not expect new Christians to be instantly and fully developed in these points. The process of maturing is a gradual one, for the Christian is firmly told, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
How is this mental renovation to be accomplished? From passages cited above, we can see at least two parts of the answer: feeding the mind frequently from the word of God, and training the mind to dwell on things that are worthy of a Christian’s thoughts. Today, may we all make some progress toward reaching the Lord’s standards of excellence.