When high ethical standards seem hard

Followers of Jesus are called to a high ethical standard. Do you ever read about those standards in the Bible and then feel bad because you realize of how often you mess up?

Maybe it’s the passage about loving your neighbour (Mark 12:31), or even your enemy (Matthew 5:44). Or maybe it’s Colossians 3:12: “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Sounds inspiring… and hard!

That’s why we need to remember a few things.

1. Although we are called to a high ethical standard, what makes us right with God isn’t how good we are at being good. It’s our faith in Christ. Through his perfect life and sacrifice, he has gained salvation for us. He has done for us what we can’t do for ourselves. What a gift!

2. We are not alone. God is with us and helps us.

3. God cares for you and wants the best for you. If my child starts at a new school, I’m going to pack them a healthy lunch, ensure they have the right clothes for gym class, and give them encouraging advice. I’m not randomly ‘sticking my nose in.’ I’m doing these things because I care for them and want the best for them.

The same is true for God. Passages about high ethical standards aren’t God ‘sticking his nose in’ or wanting to load us up with impossible tasks. He cares for us and wants the best for us.

Plus, we get the privilege of sharing his powerful love and light with others in a way that blesses them and offers hope!

God cares for you and wants the best for you.

He doesn’t love you any less because you sometimes fail. Nor does he leave you to fend for yourself. He helps and guides you into a life of love and purpose. How could a loving Father want anything less for a beloved child?

Like you.

By Matthew Ruttan

–Today’s “Up!” is related to my most recent sermon: “Asking God to establish your plans.” You can watch the 24-minute message on YouTube here. Enjoy!
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
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