I read an interesting paper once that described how television influences the way people see the world around them. There is no denying the effect that the world’s most potent communications instrument has on the viewers. I have long railed against the image of the husband and father that is portrayed in most of the sitcoms. This image is usually a weak, bumbling character that is ridiculed even by his children.
Social media today is carrying this false perception of life even further. As we read and see pictures of others we get an impression that is often far from reality. By looking at pictures and posts we form the impression that their lives are without troubles. And we thus have unrealistic expectations in our own homes.
Rather than letting television or social media define my life maybe I should turn to the pages of scripture to research what GOD has to say about the matter. Rather than “Life According to TV” let us consider “Life According the Scriptures.”
The Bible actually clearly divides this idea into 2 categories. On the one hand, we see the unbeliever, the one living life according to the world’s standards. Paul described this individual in Ephesians 2 as walking according to the course of this world, conducting [oneself] in the lust of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. In general, this is living life according to the world’s definition of success and happiness. We’ll refer to this as living life according to the world.
On the other hand, the faithful follower of Christ will be interested in patterning his life not according to the world (Romans 12:2) rather according to GOD’S word. As an obedient believer, my desire for life is not to be found in lockstep with the world. I want to walk in such a way that I will be pleasing to my Creator. I find those instructions in His word.
The phrase “according to Your word” is found 22 times in the Bible. Twelve of those 22 times are found in Psalm 119. A look at those 12 references makes for a profitable study. For example, the question is asked in Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man cleanse his way? The ESV renders it “How can a young man keep his way pure?” And the answer is, “By living according to Your word.”
Think of how life would be if lived according to this simple formula: To let GOD’S word determine our every step in life.
Yes, the Bible presents this as a choice between living “according to the course of this world” and living “according to Your word.”
Some questions for us to consider are:
- How do I live my life? Do I live my life according to the word or am I being squeezed into the mold of the world?
- Can those around me tell the difference?
- What is the difference?
There are but 2 choices to define our lives:
According to the Word
According to the world
On paper, there is very little difference. In fact, there is only one letter difference, the letter L. But oh, the difference that letter L makes inserted into the word.