.“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. . . “ (Ephesians 4:17, ESV)
Paul exhorts us to live lives worthy of God’s Kingdom and describes the standards of behavior this entails. Since we are called to be holy we are to be separated from sin and live lives of purity and righteousness. We are not to live in the way we did when we were in the world or in any way continue to follow the ways of the world. We have been made one with Christ and so He expects us to imitate Him and enables us to do so. We have repented of sin. We have repudiated the old life and all its values and standards. We will not want to have anything to do with them now since they only kept us enslaved to sin.
Paul then goes on to show the ways we do this using very concrete and balanced examples that point out the negative actions and attitudes, what we must not do or think, and the positive ones, what we should do and think. And the model for us to follow is Jesus Himself.
As we ponder these standards, we ought to think about the forms of entertainment that are popular today in our world. We ought to think about what the entertainment and media industries consider to be so valuable, what we ourselves think is of such great value. Will these be of any value in the Kingdom of God? We all live according to the standards of the world to varying degrees often to the point that we lose site of Christ. These standards promote and praise evil, lying, abuse, debauchery, selfishness and sexual immorality in all its forms as well as the use of coarse joking that promotes or approves that sexual immorality. The media and the world of entertainment is filled with this sinful agenda. And we who are believers buy into this agenda through imitation. We not only do not criticize it, we support it with our time and money. The Lord would rather we should be focused on Him and His Kingdom so we are living by His standards, not the world’s.