CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
What color is your life?
By Laurel J. Davis
See Laurel's blog at The Reluctant First Lady
Many grade schools use color-coded disciplinary systems to reinforce proper student behavior. Here's how it works in one classroom: Every student begins each day at green. Depending on his or her behavior throughout the day, each child can work up to blue and ultimately purple, stay at green, or work down to yellow and ultimately red. Green is okay, blue is great, purple is fantastic, yellow is a caution, and red means you're in trouble. You can work your way up or down and back through the color scale as the day progresses. Purple by the end of the day is rare and earns the best rewards, while red earns a visit to the principal's office and a note home.
On this scale, how would each of us rate our own conduct and attitude as Christians from day to day, week to week? Are you striving for God to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant" by the end of your life's journey here on earth?
Purple is the color of royalty. It is bestowed upon only the most obedient, to the few who consistently display reverent attitude, behavior and service to others that are conducive to learning. Whenever you're at purple, you show respect for authority, you strive beyond what's expected of you, and you set an example for and positively affect the lives of others. Of course, you can't be perfect. Nobody's perfect except for Jesus. But His life and sacrifice are what you endeavor to imitate. (1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 2:21)
Blue is for Christians who go the extra mile, who strive to do more than just the bare minimum requirements. You are open to the calling of God in your life and desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him, and to share His love and wisdom with others. You may not be as consistent and successful at it as with your brothers and sisters in purple, but you generally produce good fruit to the glory of Christ. Like purple, blue earns blessings such as growth, more responsibility, leadership, strength, peace and joy in life, and treasures in heaven. (Psalm 19:11; Proverbs 24:20; Matthew 5:12; Luke 6:35; 23:41; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Timothy 5:18; 11:26; Revelation 22:12)
You're green if you are pretty much focused, not straying too much off course, not causing any major problems for yourself or others. Fine. But you don't bear much fruit beyond that. Sure, you don't make any bad waves. But you don't make enough good ones either. You'll do just enough to keep the peace in your own life without actively seeking to be used by God to help others do the same. Green is fine, but you're supposed to make Jesus shine! (Colossians 1:10; Titus 2:14; Matthew 5:13-16; James 2:14-20)
Yellow means, Caution! You're losing focus and straying off-course. You're one step away from outright rebellion. Or, just as dangerous, you're following false doctrine or compromising God's truth in some other way, such as tolerating grievous sin. You need to slow down and regroup. Get out of your flesh. Regain your spiritual focus and refresh your strength by getting more into God's Word, prayer and fellowship with Godly saints. Don't let the cares, snares and lures of this world get to you. Everybody slips up. Just don't get caught up!
Red means, Stop! and Turn around! You are backsliding or in rebellion. You need to humble yourself, get sent back to the foot of the Cross, be reminded of the blood that Christ shed for your sins, and be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-3). You need to stop being angry with God, stop ignoring Him, and stop trying to do things your way. You need to remember who God is and how powerful He is as well as how loving and merciful, and you need to get back into His Word and back into full and fulfilling communion with Him (Luke 15:11-32). Perhaps start with all the Scripture references here.
There's one more thing about that classroom: You have to be enrolled. Regardless of what color his or her life is, every person enrolled in the class is actually called a student, every student has a reserved place there, and the teacher knows every student by name. But since all color — even red — requires the reflection of light, and since Jesus is the Light of the world, then utter darkness describes the life of anyone who denies Him as Savior and God. If you deny the Teacher, how can you say you belong in the class? If the light of Christ is not in you, then He doesn't know you.
Are you a student, or a stranger? Accept Jesus as Lord right now so that you may know you have a place in the kingdom of God (1 John 5:13). Backsliding may dim the light of Christ even in the true believer's life, but at least the child in red is still known by name.
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Personal-Relationships | Sin-Evil
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Published on 9-10-14