My son came home today with a blue ribbon. It was an award he won at school. The ribbon read "Good Conduct". I was proud of my boy and I made sure to congratulate him.
His "Good Conduct" award means this: He behaves in the right way, and he follows the rules. Does this mean he's perfect? No, of course not. He's a normal young boy. But overall, he's conducting himself properly.
You know, good conduct matters for us adults too. God expects us to behave ourselves and follow the rules He has laid out for us. Publically and privately, we are simply to do what Steven Spielberg's alien, E.T., told Elliot: "Be good."
Here is some scripture for us all to remember:
Proverbs 21:3 "Do what is right and just"
Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good"
1 Timothy 6:11 "pursue righteousness"
1 Peter 1:16 "Be holy, as I am holy"
The common thread that runs through these verses is this: Christians, we must behave and be good. God expects that out of us.
No, none of us are perfect. You're not. And I'm not either. You and I have failed and made mistakes along the way. But let's repent, learn from our mistakes, and do better in the future.
With the guidance of scripture and in the power of God's Holy Spirit, we can grow more and more like Christ. We can live in righteousness. And we can reflect the holiness of God to the world.
Yep, it's true. Our behavior does matter. With God's help, we can do right and live right.
So let's get on with it!