According to 2008 U.S. statistical data from the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS)
, 34,169 people claimed “no religion.” That includes atheists and humanists. That is almost 5,000 more people than in 2001. In 2008, according to the same survey, over 173,000 people identified themselves as “Christian.” That’s over 13,000 more than in 2001.
Obviously, Christianity grew and expanded during this period. That sounds good. However, the adult population surveyed increased by approximately 20,000 during this period. We gained 13,000 and the “no religion” folks gained 5,000. That means 2,000 people became Muslims, Jews or some other religion. Or, the same 2,000 just did not dare claim any religion at all. Either that or it is some mix between the two of them.
The world has its own standard. It may not be one that we, as Christians, desire to follow but it exists. It is alive and well within the world. That’s suitable for those who do not know the Lord. It works for those who live in the darkness of unbelief.
It doesn’t work well for Christians.
For us, things are just a little different. We answer to a higher calling in Christ Jesus, seeking to mature in Christ as we walk with Christ. We are to live by a different standard than the world.
So what is this standard of living for Christians and where does it come from?
- The Lord sets the standard. He lays it out based upon His supreme reign over all things as the Creator, the Maker and Elohim. He answers to no one.
- The Lord shares the standard in the Scriptures. Christians have the upper hand because we have been provided the play book. We can read it. We can reference it. It is for our consumption. The Lord gave it to us.
- The Lord demonstrated the standard. The Word became flesh. He dwelt on earth and dealt with some serious troubles like being born to poor parents and living in a society where foreigners ruled over His people. He showed us the standard and expects us to live up to the standard.
Live it up. Live a life of influence that inspires others from interacting with you and your business. Live up to Christ’s standards as you work, as you play golf and as you go to and fro. Handle your business and live up the Lord’s standards.