As the restraints of forced righteousness falls away in our society we should be able to see a clearer distinction between believers and non-believers. Our problem is that believers have gotten so entrenched in the patterns of this world that we have lost sight that we are not part of it. We don't often take into consideration that we are citizens of the Kingdom. It doesn't mean that we are instantly perfect but it does mean that we are maturing in a certain direction. Or, at least we should be but many of us don't even understand the expectations of walking with Jesus. Let's consider one example.
Our walk with Jesus requires a certain level of discipline. In a culture that no longer values such personal disciplines it is easy to lose ourselves in the thought that it is good to speak our mind. We do want to be honest, don't we? The problem is that many of us lack the maturity to control our thinking, or I should say, to give up control to the Spirit. We often "speak our mind" and in so doing hurt the people we are suppose to love.
We are so entrenched in the culture of our age that we throw discipline to the wind and elect to embrace personal expression. Individual rights become the anthem of our age, but such an anthem flies in the face of Christianity, in the teaching of our Lord. James writes:
My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn’t right. (James 3:9-10)
If there is no difference between us and those who are not alive in Jesus there is a problem. The Word tells us again and again that we have died with Christ and we no longer live, but instead Christ lives in us. It tells us that the life we do live in these vessels we live by faith in Jesus, in what he has promised and taught. He taught that we are more through him, so where we failed in discipline in our flesh, through him we have victory. We are more than we were.
Love is now everything to us. We need to learn how Jesus defined love and how that love defined his actions and thoughts. We are more than we were and that is now defined by the love of Jesus. We know it is wrong to speak ill of anyone. Whether they are with or without Christ they were created by Father and as such are due love and respect. Our desire should be to see them saved not destroyed. Understanding this will go a long way in the discipline of our thoughts.
The thing to keep in mind is just because you think it, does not mean it needs to be spoken. As much as we are growing there is still parts of our old nature trying to hold on. We do not want to give those things life by speaking them into life. If there are wrong thoughts then we need to confess them to Jesus, repent of them and reject them. With discipline these parts that no longer belong to us will die but if we keep giving them life then we will never grow into the maturity to which we have been called.