Devotional Readings

A Higher Standard

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2, NASB.

My husband doesn’t call me a gypsy for nothing; I love to travel, and I’ve gotten around to some places I never dreamed I would go. Recently I returned from a trip to Seoul, South Korea. It was truly a different world from the United States in more than one way, but there was one thing that stood out above all the rest–the people.

My flight over stopped in Tokyo before going on to Shanghai, so there were mostly Asian passengers on board. I was really impressed with how quiet and calm everyone was for 13 long hours. They are truly to be commended for their respectful decorum.

On the streets of Seoul, or in subway stations, you have only to pause with a questioning look to draw someone to your side offering assistance. It seems to be their goal in life to be helpful. Riding on the subways and buses, even middle-aged women will give up their seats to someone older, handicapped, pregnant, or carrying a child. And I loved their habit of bowing to you as you go in and out of places of business. Their politeness is inspiring.

The most lasting impression, though, was the women–meek and mild are the words that come to mind. And they have beautiful smiles. Their modest clothing seemed to be in sharp contrast to that in other parts of the world where women are taken in by fashions that leave much to be desired. Sometimes we don’t see ourselves as we are until compared with those who are different. In 1Timothy 2:9 and 10 Paul admonishes those who claim godliness to dress properly.

Whether it’s respect, humility, politeness, or modesty, if we try to be just a little better than the culture around us we’ll go downhill with it because it’s getting worse with the passing of time. We should be a transforming example. My Korean trip was a wake-up call for me to live up to God’s ideals–not the world’s.

Lord, please help us renew our minds so we can be transformed to follow Your will instead of our own.

–Donna Meyer Voth

from A Word from Home
Ardis Stenbakken (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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