In the Christian walk, how much emphasis do we place on doing the right things? How often are we told to read your Bible, pray, attend worship services, tithe, evangelize, serve, etc.? Or told not to lie, steal, slander, be immoral, smoke, gamble, etc.? I would guess that most of us, myself included, have an informal list of the appropriate dos and don'ts for the Christian life. But should we?
Does it matter? Well ... yes ... and no! I do not believe there is anything wrong with having a moral code that you follow. Having some idea of what is appropriate behavior is a good guide to evaluate your life. Without a moral compass, I end up like a rudderless ship, going whichever way the current leads me.
But for too many folks, its seems like their moral code is too important. Do you feel like you are OK so long as you live up to some set of rules? Is God happy with you if you do enough stuff on the 'good' list and avoid enough stuff on the 'bad' list? Is God checking to see who's been naughty or nice and rewarding accordingly?
I think more important than my behavior, is who I am. Am I a new creation; has the old gone and the new come? I believe very much that that is what God wants from me: to be transformed into a new person; not just putting a new coat of paint on the person I was. No amount of paint will serve to spruce up a crumbling house. In the same way, strict adherence to a moral code, no matter how stringent, will not fool God into believing I have been transformed.
Seeking to live a godly life has great value if you are a new creation, if you truly have a relationship with your creator. It has little real value if it is just a coat of pain put over a crumbling interior. Be transformed, not just spruced up a bit!