When you are confronted with a situation that is bound to test your moral standing, do you waver as to what to do? When we have principles to live by, our standing in the face of those difficult situations, while not easy, helps us to stand firm. Martin Luther King, Jr. states this idea very succinctly; “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” MLK Quote of the week http://www.thekingcenter.org/blog/mlk-quote-week-times-challenge-and-controversy
To this end the apostle Peter offers us a warning when in 1 Peter 5:8-9 he says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith…”
Principles are like light posts warning us of danger along the way. When we lack principles to live by, we are a sure prey for the enemy. He will be sure to offer us just the right opportunity in a way that often might look just like God’s gift to us. Remember the enemy’s opportunities always look and feel good, and we need some way of testing their validity. Principles, based on God’s word, are just the tools to test the validity of the enemy’s deceptions. When we lack principles to guide us through life, we are like a drunken man without discernment, easily deceived.
Principles are timeless guidelines for living, nothing alters them; not our heredity, not our upbringing, not our circumstances. Mariners used the North Star as a compass to guide them in the darkest of night. A lighthouse is a beacon to guide small boats to safety and warn them of danger. When these signals were ignored danger was sure to follow. Principles are not personal ideas we create, like the North Star they existed before us and will remain long after us.
Principles are not rules. Rules are external, usually set by a superior to control the behavior of those under their control or authority. Rules are usually violated and obeyed due to fear of punishment. Principles on the other hand, are internal and personal guidelines, a code of conduct, established and followed not because of fear, but in recognition of a higher authority whose love for us, hopefully, propel us to obedience.
To this end we must consider the significance of our relationship to the Lord. Our relationship to Him is so much more than just a ticket into heaven. Our salvation is not only an internal renewal of our spirit, or a private matter between the Lord and me. My day-to-day living must bear witness of an internal change. We have now become His disciples. As His disciple my life is now an outward demonstration of change in character, otherwise how do the world know that I’m His follower? Or is it that my Christianity has nothing to do with the kind of person I am? Colossians 3:12-17.