Whose Standards Are You Living By?

by Bill Rudge

I  was having a conversation with “Joe” at his place of employment one day. A co-worker blurted out that “Joe” was living with one woman but also had several girlfriends in other cities. I told him about a voodoo witch-doctor I knew who had women in many different areas of Haiti with several children by them. Later, when he became a believer in Jesus Christ, I counseled the former witch-doctor to choose only one of the girlfriends as his wife, but support the others financially.

“Joe” said that he could never do that because his family has always lived this way. I informed him that God’s standard was to marry one woman and be faithful to her. He repeated that his family has always lived the other way and he could not change.

I asked, “If you let a buddy of yours move into your house, could he do whatever he wants or would he have to obey your rules? What would you do if he messed with your woman or trashed your place?” “Joe” emphatically said that his buddy would have to live by his rules and standards or he would throw him out.

“Your own words will be your judge” I quickly responded, “because God created this world and everything and everyone in it. He gave us standards to live by and we will one day stand before Him and give an account. He will respond to you that just as you required those who live in your house to honor your standards so God expects you to honor His.”

He looked at me and the other man who was listening and said, “I am speechless! I am speechless!” I think that was the first time he was ever speechless. I hope the day comes when he gives his life to Christ, and will be found living by God’s standards, and not his own.

When a person comes to Christ, God changes the inner man through the Holy Spirit, and one’s lifestyle begins to conform to God’s will and standards. This is something only God can do.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).