In today's times, it can appear to be difficult to live a Christian life. We have our university studies, friends and a thousand other things dragging us away from what we should be doing.
In order to correctly deal with the subject of the title above, it would be best if one were to identify the main factors that threaten and prevent one from living as a Christian in our times. These are obvious to the thinking Christian, and they appear to be:
1. The spiritual weakness of the human person, which fluctuates according to the temptations of sin, how frequently he succumbs to them, and how much he has advanced in his spiritual life.
2. The quality of his upbringing and how much he conformed to the advice and example of his parents, teachers and others in authority.
3. The attitude of contemporary society: self-centred mentality, care for personal promotion, lax morality, permissiveness, materialism, lack of spiritual interest, and generally “la dolce vita”.
4. Social evils: alcoholism, drug taking, social isolation, boredom, mental illnesses triggered by uncontrolled bad habits and purposeless living.
5. The mass media, particularly the electronic media: their programmes are attractive to the senses, but play havoc with the inner life of the person, prevent him from developing moral and religious principles, suppress critical powers and, more importantly, dehumanise the individual.
If such is the situation, is there a solution, a way of bypassing these problems? The Christian has to understand that since he has been called by God to be His child, he lives in another world. This means that he lives in the world of the spirit. He must train his mind to frequently remember God and His will. He must arrange or re-arrange his daily routine so he has time to pray. The prayer should proceed from the depths of his being, be sincere and personal. Such prayer opens the heavens and reveals to us the means by which we can face the world as it is today. Jesus has confirmed that He will protect us: “I do not pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are Yours” (John 17: 9).
In view of what we said so far, the Christian in fact lives in two worlds: 1) the world that leads a purposeless life, and 2) the world of the spirit. This does not mean he will abandon the world he lives in. Rather, he will live his life in this world, if for nothing else but the purpose of being a role model for those around him, and also a missionary to those who are receptive to his Christian ideas. Needless to say, he should be efficient and an example at his work, and strive to do his best whatever task he is given. One feature which ought to characterise the life of the Christian is the attitude of willingness to help wherever he can, and maintain an altruistic attitude in whatever environment he happens to be.
It is not an easy task to live with people with ideas, habits and lifestyles diametrically opposite to ours. However, Jesus wants everyone who strives to be His disciple to stay in the world, and promised to protect him from the devil: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17: 15). We have nothing to fear; since God is with us, who can be against us?
Source: Lychnos August – September 2016