How to conduct yourself as a Christian
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NLT)
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 2 Corinthians 9:13 (NLT)
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:12 (NLT)
If we liken Christianity to a movie, our good works can be seen as the trailer. When unbelievers see the love that Christians have for one another and the good works they perform, they may think all sorts of evil things about Christians, but they cannot fault their conduct, and this abounds to the glory of God. Even in our witnessing and defense of the faith, we should conduct ourselves with gentleness and respect 1 Peter 3:15, not in angry, boastful tones.
The truth of the matter is that the gospel is already an offense to the unbelieving world 1 Corinthians 1:18. Christians should not add to the offense. This sentiment is clearly seen in Peter’s first epistle. He exhorts his readers that, if they’re going to suffer at the hands of evil men, let it be because they’re Christians and not because they were acting sinfully. 1 Peter 4:14-16.
In Paul’s letter to Titus. Paul gives Titus instructions on how to teach his congregation. Paul urges Titus to teach young women to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:5 (NLT)
Likewise, he exhorts Titus ” In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:7-8 (NLT).
Finally, Paul tells Titus to admonish slaves “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” Titus 2:9-10.
In all three cases, Paul makes the point that Christian conduct is important in not only shutting the mouths of evil men, but also in guarding the integrity of the Word of God.
Consider the alternative. If Christians conduct themselves no differently from the outside world, what good is it? If indeed, the outside world is watching and they see no difference between themselves and Christians, what motivation (if any) will there be for them to forego their unbelieving lifestyle?
Even at our best, we are still prone to sin. Yet the gospel is much more likely to be received positively if it is presented by a person who is humble and gentle than a person who is rude and disrespectful. Our actions can either help or hinder the gospel and others.
Be an example of good conduct!