<<actions, conduct>>

The outworking of our inner motivations, desires and emotions through action, spontaneous reactions and words should be consistent with our new life in Christ, with our character displaying the fruit of the Spirit and reflecting His divine nature (Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 5:22,23). God requires we love Him with our total being, and our neighbour as ourselves (Mk 12:30,31). Do I consistently do the most loving thing for others or does life revolve around me? Jesus warned against self-promoting behaviour done to gain the attention of other people rather than from the motive of love and obedience (Mt 6:1-18).

The Bible counsels us to think about good and wholesome things for from our thoughts, actions come and these characterize us (Mt 12:35, 15:19; Phil 4:8).

Rationalising bad behaviour by making excuses such as, ‘Satan made me do it’, ‘it was my upbringing’, ‘it’s the way I am’, ‘everyone is doing it’, or ‘it’s my weak point’ infer being a powerless victim, but the responsible option is to take ownership of our actions and

Take responsibility for what you do

address what needs to be changed in us. Don’t live in a reactionary mode dwelling in the past, but look forward, focusing on the positive, creative opportunities – that is, live in faith. Do not let your ungodly past continue to define you. At salvation we become a "new creation; the old has gone and the new has come"; hence the description "And this is what some of you were..." (1 Cor 6:11; 2 Cor 5:17).

The Bible's instruction is "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to a life worthy of the calling you have received...Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Rom 12:1; Eph 4:1; Phil 1:27). This requires we behave in a godly manner, living with integrity as we battle against Satan's schemes, especially in the area of morality. Thankfully we don't have to do this in our own strength for "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness..." (2 Pet 1:3). As Christians, we are "God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works" (Eph 2:10).

Habits are behaviour patterns – either good or bad – that we have developed over time. Be disciplined to do what is right even if the desire is not there, for by continually giving in to wrong choices an almost unconquerable power will be exerted over us  – yet with determination and the Lord’s enabling such power can be broken. Incentives are good ways to get positive results and reinforce desirable

A motto to live by is ‘Would Jesus do this?’

qualities; conversely discipline will discourage unacceptable conduct in the future. If you claim to be a Christian, live it out in reality or else you are a hypocrite. Guard the areas where you are susceptible to temptation and be in accountability to others besides doing what you would like people to do to you (Lk 6:31).

Self-control is a vital quality we should be developing because we are answerable to God for what we do, and this is more important than focusing on another’s faults – for whom I am not answerable (Mt 7:3-5; Rom 14:12). Satan concentrates on our vulnerable areas and we need to actively resist his temptations. We should operate or function out of reasoned, conscious choices based on our will to do the right thing, not impulses of the carnal flesh. Our behaviour displays either a life in the process of being transformed by God’s character through learning His ways or one reflective of Satan’s characteristics – self-centred and reactionary decisions that become bad habits.  

See also: accountability, actions/activity, attitude, being and doing, character, excuse, fruit (of the Spirit), habits, integrity, lifestyle, peer pressure, reaction, responsible/responsibility, self-control, temptation, thinking/thoughts.