Continuing a series presenting our beliefs in plain English. This time we’ll look at the area of living a moral life.
A good place to start with this one is to think about public figures and the great responsibility they carry to keep their lives free from wrongdoing. The effect of them doing something wrong or dishonest is enormous. The pressures on them are huge and of course, like anyone else, they’re not perfect.
All of us carry something of that responsibility and we never know the effect of what we do or say on anyone else. It also helps to appreciate that we have a ‘public’ life – a life that people see – and we have a ‘private’ life – which people don’t see. Hopefully the two are almost the same, but we can all be prone to having some bad thoughts and wrong feelings.
Without appearing to recommend hypocrisy (which Jesus regularly condemned) there is a lot to be said for managing our more public life – behaviour, choice of words, restraint etc., – so that the example we give might help some other people to try and be like that themselves. In our church teachings it says that an evil minister can still give a fine sermon and lead an exemplary life!
There are also other areas where we should take quite a lot of care, for example, making fun of serious things, making a joke about a Bible verse, using the name of God in the wrong way.
Of course, though, the most important thing about living a moral life is that you yourself want to do so because it is your belief and it is in your heart. You see very clearly that values in life matter – for you personally and for people ‘out there’ who you’re with. And while you will inevitably get it wrong at times, you know that trying to live a just, upright, socially conscious, fair kind of life is the way to be.