Thanks to Mom for showing us this verse this weekend at the Dells.
Let's pick this verse apart.
Whatever happens....conflict happens, disagreements happen, hurtful words happen, telemarketers happen, drivers cutting you off happen, ungrateful kids happen, annoying people happen, interrupted time happens, disobedient kids happen, sleepless nights happen, hormones happen, lay-offs happen, sickness happens, etc, etc.
conduct yourselves...the dictionary definition is : to behave or manage (oneself)
in a manner...a way of doing, being done, or happening; mode of action, occurrence, etc.
|1.||having adequate or great merit, character, or value: a worthy successor.|
|2.||of commendable excellence or merit; deserving: a book worthy of praise; a person worthy to lead.|
of the gospel of Christ....other versions say 'message of Christ', or 'the good news about Christ'.
So how does this apply to real life?
When my kids disobey me on the same issue for the quadrillianth time, I will behave in a way that is a credit to the things Jesus taught. Not screaming, "How many times do I have to tell you to quit rubbing trash in your hair!" (What? You've never screamed that?)
Next time someone cuts me off in traffic, I will smile and wave and pray that they get to where they need to go safely. Instead of thinking, 'C'mon! Where did you learn to drive?!'
When I don't feel I was treated the way I should have been treated, I will control myself and pray that God will help me love that person the way He loves them and the way He can love me, because I too am a sinner. Not by assuming, 'She did that on purpose! I just know it! She's probably been planning for months how to hurt me. And now she finally got her chance! Well, I'll show her....' (What? You've never said that either?)
The next time someone says something about me that isn't true, I will be glad that God is my judge and He sees and knows everything and it is He I want to please, not that other person.
When someone believes differently than I do about a situation that happened, I will not ignore them out of rivalry, but will still love them and not let it distance us.
When someone else has an idea, I will consider there interests as more significant than my own. Even though I know my idea really is better and someday they will see that I was right and they will fall at my feet and beg for my forgiveness for not seeing the wisdom in my suggestion, because that is what the Kingdom of Heaven is all about. No? What? I need to also have the right motive behind my kind actions? Shoot!
Oh, Lord help me to act in a way that would point people to You. It's not easy. It goes against my sinful nature. Help me to do what I know is the right thing to do, but it's so much easier to take the low road and rub it in their face or point out all their faults. Keep me in Your Word so that I know what Your ways are. With Your help, may I always behave in a way that gives honor to Your Name! And may I come to the place where not only my actions, but also my heart is worthy of the gospel of Christ. Amen.