I was at church today listening to Jason, my pastor, talk about values, about how as Christians we should not be letting our lives be defined by the culture we live in, but by Jesus. He was right. But the thing that spoke to me most was a story he told about himself, the day after he became a Christian. He realised his life was no longer his. It belonged to Jesus.
What an amazing truth and such a liberating one. Imagine, not having to worry any more about how you're going to get through each day, that you no longer have to worry about deciding what you're going to do with the rest of your life. Why is that? Becuase when you belong to Jesus, your life belongs to Him. You're obedient to his will, His calling on your life, His teachings and your lifestyle changes to fit His standards, rather than the standards of this world.
Its not 'what's best for me?', 'how can I promote myself?', 'how can I achieve success and happiness for myself?', 'its my life'. Instead it's 'love others as you love yourself', 'how can I serve and glorify God?', 'how can I change my lifestyle to fit His standards?',' what does God want me to do?', 'what job does He want for me?', 'where does He want me to live?'. It's a totally different set of values, and those are what really show that you're a Christian.
We still make our choices, and we are still responsible for those, that doesn't change. What changes is on what basis we make those choices, and the values that govern those choices. Faith is demonstrated through action, as another, more famous James wrote.
The bottom line? Our lives don't belong to us if we're Christians, they belong to God. His values become ours and on that basis we make choices, according to God's will and purpose for our lives.
And I personally feel a whole lot safer that way.