Read: Hebrews 12:1-4

Imagine you are in an unfamiliar city, far from home, friends and family, when suddenly you are tempted to do something wrong. Is your first thought, “What would others think?” Or is it, “What would God think?” God’s opinion is the one that really matters, and it is never right to do wrong. But have you ever considered why you do what you do when faced with temptation?

Abraham Kuyper says, “Not every resistance against sin can be called ‘struggle against sin.’ Everything here hinges upon what it is that moves you to oppose this or that sin. One person will avoid a sin from concern for his health. Another is on his guard lest, if his sin became known, it would injure his good name. A third resists a temptation because yielding to it would ruin him financially. A fourth puts a mark against a particular sin because in his narrow circle of life it is sharply condemned. And in this way and by all sorts of persons this or that sin is put under the ban for reasons that have nothing to do with real striving against sin. With not a few there is even no mention of a conscious motive, and all their opposition to this or that sin springs from a certain moral instinct, from the judgement of public opinion, or from a certain impulse to be decent. A certain sin may decrease, but far more because it is now looked upon as coarse and impolite than from fear of the Holy God!”

Fear of people may keep you from certain sins, but fear of God will make you cautious of all sin. The fear of God is more than an emotional response. It is an attitude of life that seeks to please God in every action, both public and private, which is fitting when you consider your calling: “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16).

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