Five on Friday

Each Friday I share five recommendations for you to check out. Today, I want to recommend 5 passages of Scripture that will help you navigate the current climate in our society in a positive and productive way while, at the same time, helping you share the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness of today’s culture.

Matthew 7:12 – The Golden Rule

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

In his most recent book, author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says this about the role The Golden Rule can play in the world today: “When I think of this challenge on a global scale, my own short prescription is that we need to find a way to get more people to practice the Golden Rule…When one of us can kill all of us, when all of us can fix everything, and when more others can do unto you from farther away and you can do unto more others from farther away, the Golden Rule has never been more important and more in need of scaling…the simple truth is: If we can’t get more people doing unto others as they would want others to do unto them, if we can’t inspire more sustainable values, we will be the first self-endangered species.”

Romans 12:9-21

(9) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (10) Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (11) Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (12) Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (13) Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

(14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. (15) Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (16) Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. (17) Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. (18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (19) Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (20) To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Imagine how different the world would be if we lived these words!

Ephesians 4:29

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

The standard for civil discussion in our society has been lowered so drastically that it presents an easy opportunity for Christ-followers to stand out and spread light. Simply choose to speak life, encouragement, and positivity and you will have a significant influence on those around you and those in your social media feeds.

Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

There are so many voices in the world crying out for our attention that it’s easy to lose sight of what matters most in life. This is why we need to build habits into our lives that keep us grounded in reality, centered in what’s eternal, focused on Christ. And one of the best habits for this is consistently meeting with people who are sincerely seeking to follow Christ. And when you meet together, make sure that you are helping the community of faith be an encouraging church that inspires one another to pursue love and to share the love of Christ through good works.

1 Peter 2:12

“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

In this day and age, we Christ-followers aren’t going to turn people’s hearts toward God by shouting louder than everybody else. It will come through the authenticity of our lives and the sincerity of our faith. The best way to point people to Christ is to show them what Christ is like through the way we live our lives among the skeptics and seekers.

If you practice what these 5 passages preach, you will be part of what’s right in the world instead of adding to what’s wrong. But more importantly, you will bring honor to God and lift up Christ. And when Christ is lifted up, he promises to draw others unto himself.

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