By Melissa Henderson, Crosswalk.com
What is ethics? Have you heard someone speaking about a person having or not having ethics in a certain situation? Has anyone ever asked you the question ‘what is ethics?’ or ‘what is Christian ethics’? Perhaps a college class or a Bible study has discussed the subject of ‘what is Christian ethics’ or ‘what is ethics?’ You may have listened to a sermon about Christian ethics. Maybe the discussion included a conversation asking if there is a difference or distinction between Christian ethics and ethics.
What is the Subject of Ethics?
When we read or speak about ethics, we are sharing moral principles that involve how a person acts and deals with life experiences. You may have heard about someone who is well known for their ethics in their professional life. Their work environment may be one of stress and pressure. Other employees may look to that person for guidance. How about their Christian ethics? Are Christian ethics shown in your workplace? Have you considered your Christian ethics and how those ethics have an opportunity to bring others closer to Christ? When someone asks ‘what is ethics?’, do we know how to answer? Scripture gives the law we are called to follow as Christians. As we discuss the question ‘What is ethics?’ we are given the opportunity to bring others into a relationship with the Father.
What Is Christian Ethics?
Christian ethics are shown in the way Christians handle everyday moments of life. Think about your daily routine and the ways to show Christian ethics. When a person accepts Jesus Christ into their life, that person is acknowledging the love and forgiveness of God (Colossians 3:1-6 NIV). Does that mean failure won’t come? No. Times of failure will come and valuable lessons can be learned from those mistakes. How we handle our life experiences can be an example to others. Becoming a Christian gives us the opportunity to develop a close relationship with God and to help others draw closer to Him.
Reading God’s Word daily, praying, and sharing fellowship with other believers helps us remember the law of God and how we are called to live. Christians hope to show His love and glory to others through words and actions (Colossians 2:6-7 NIV). Christians are saved by the grace of God. We are truly loved by God.
Times may come when a difficult decision needs to be made. As Christians, we can go to the Father and ask for help in making the choice He wants us to make. Instead of following the crowd and trying to impress others, we can follow God’s Word and lean on Him for answers. A prayer request will be answered in God’s timing. Yes, no, or not now are all answers we will experience. God’s way is always best.
I can remember times as a teenager when I made poor choices. I was a Christian, yet my faith had not grown. Following the popular group in school seemed like a way to fit in and possibly find new friends. That was the wrong decision on my part. Instead of following Christ, I chose my selfish ways and those choices brought heartache. Those poor life choices never brought joy. The new so-called friends turned out to be not friends at all. Their wrong choices harmed them, too.
I am thankful for my family and the people God has placed in my life. Those special people showed me how to live life for God and not for self. God never left me and even in the tough times, He was always with me, helping me learn Christian ethics. The examples of Christian ethics shown to me by certain people encouraged me to develop a stronger relationship with God. My mind and heart had been opened when I accepted Jesus into my life. Struggles still continued to come from different places. My Christian ethics were tested and scrutinized at various times. God never left my side. Family and friends prayed for me and helped me develop a closer relationship with God. Their daily examples of Christian ethics were truly inspiring (Colossians 3:16 NIV).
A woman from church asked me to ride along with her and visit the shut-ins. Even as I reluctantly agreed to go, I felt God was preparing me for a change in my life. Sharing conversation with the shut-ins helped me draw closer to God as I prayed for each person. Wonderful new friendships were formed.
Another friend asked me to help prepare meals for the homeless. As we prepared the food, prayers were spoken over each item and for the people receiving the meals. Delivering the food provided a time to look each person in the eyes and share conversation.
The prayer group at church asked if I would be part of the group that prayed for those who requested prayer. Those prayers brought calm and peace as I took concerns to God. Each moment gave me an opportunity to develop Christian ethics and to help others. Over the years, I have been able to mentor others as they grow in faith and strengthen their relationship with God.
Every time we are faced with a decision, we can follow Christian ethics or choose to follow selfish ways. God loves us and He only wants the best for His beloved children. He will seek us when we are lost (Luke 15:1-7 NIV).
10 Important Things to Know about Christian Ethics
-God’s Word teaches us how to live as God desires (Exodus 20 NIV).
-Christian ethics can be shown in every situation.
-We are given a choice at every moment to live for God or for self.
-We have the opportunity to show others the love of God by our words and actions.
-Showing Christian ethics is not hard when we choose God first.
-There will be times of failure. When those times arise, ask God for forgiveness.
-There are lessons to be learned from Christian ethics.
-Christian ethics allows us to live a life pleasing to God (1 Thessalonians 4:1 NIV).
-Christian ethics help us to consider the action, the attitude, and the motive.
-The Word of God remains the same. Trust in His Word.
How to Start Practicing Christian Ethics
News reports often share about the ethical or unethical treatment of humans, animals, places, etc. Our call is to live a life filled with sharing the love of God with others. When we learn about troublesome situations, we can go to God immediately to seek His guidance in how we can help. Some people are called to be missionaries in foreign countries and help with food, water, clothing, and Bible distribution. Other people are called to be missionaries in their own communities. Feeding the homeless, taking care of seniors, volunteering at animal shelters are some ways to show we care for God’s creations. Neglecting and turning away when we know there is a need for help is not how God wants us to take care of each other. If there are times when we don’t know how to help, we can go to God in prayer and ask for wisdom, discernment, and revelation.
Christian ethics will shine through when we seek Him first. How are you showing Christian ethics? Are you choosing God or self? Pause and consider the many opportunities we have to share His love and glory with others.
Photo credit: ©Getty/Oleksandr Yakoniuk
Award-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers.
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