How the Bible Tells Us to Live

The world tells me to think of myself. The Bible tells me to deny myself.

The world tells me to get angry when someone wrongs me. The Bible tells me to turn the other cheek.

The world tells me it’s OK to do this or that because everyone else does it, too. The Bible tells me to avoid the things that would bring me down and tarnish my witness to the world.

So many conflicting views are thrown our way every day, but it is our job to know what the Bible says so we can weed out the ways of the world and focus on what our walk with Jesus is meant to be. The truth of the gospel is that Jesus Christ came to earth to live a perfect life, die on the Cross, and take our place to save us from what we deserve for our imperfect lives. And while we all know that we aren’t perfect, we know that through Christ, we have forgiveness, redemption, and the freedom to live the way Jesus wants us to live.

The world we live in encourages us to be self-centered and look out for ourselves above all others. But everything about the gospel is the exact opposite of this mind-set. Let’s think on how deeply the gospel differs from what the world tells us.

Let’s start with the birth of Jesus. Who among us could truthfully say they would willingly leave the perfection of heaven to live as a man on earth? Also, would any of us really want to be born in a stable or give birth in a stable? The answer is likely no, if given the choice. Our Savior and Lord—the Savior and Lord of the entire universe—had the most humble of births. How much of our lives do we spend looking for affirmation, attention, and applause for our accomplishments even though the Savior of the world was born in a stable?

As we look at the life of Jesus, Mark 10:45 reminds us, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus came to earth as a man to do the will of God and benefit us, not Himself. He left many important lessons for us to study and live by, from the story of the Good Samaritan to His command to love our enemies and turn the other cheek. We might respond, “Easier said than done.” But Jesus lived what He taught. Even though we’re not perfect, through Him, we can follow His example.

When we look at the death of Jesus, we see there has never been any act more selfless than that of Jesus taking our place on the Cross and dying for our sins—not for His sins, for He had none. Jesus lived a sinless life and therefore didn’t deserve this punishment. But He stood in our place and took the punishment we all deserve so we could spend forever with God. Nothing the world can say about thinking only of ourselves will ever top this ultimate story of selflessness and love. The ways of the world will never diminish the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the true selflessness we can learn only through Him.

The birth, life, and death of Jesus are filled with lessons of selflessness we all can learn from every day. There is always something new to learn, and remaining deep in God’s Word is how we will do that. After all, how else will we tell the world about the good news of the Resurrection that came after Jesus’ birth, life, and death? How will we truly know and understand the meaning of His triumph over death and sin if we don’t study the truths of His entire, ongoing story?

God’s Word equips us with everything we need to share the good news of the saving grace of Jesus Christ with friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others we encounter who are trapped in believing the self-centered ways of the world. Study His Word, pray for His guidance, and be prepared to see a beautiful work done in the lives of others through His great power.

Jessica Graham is a copy editor at national WMU. She considers it a blessing to be able to help women her age discover the meaning of faith, community, and missions.

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