My nephew James had completed boot camp and had become one of the few and the proud who could say, “I’m a Marine!” His dad was showing me some graduation pictures and pointed to one of a relaxed James smiling for the camera. “I wasn’t supposed to take this one,” he said. “James told me he could get in trouble for having his picture taken like that while in uniform.”

Apparently the Marine’s code of behavior extends beyond formal functions, even to the way he is photographed. A Marine is “a new person,” and this should be evident in the way he acts 24 hours a day. Of course, this doesn’t mean he can never relax or smile, but there should be something different about his manner because he’s a Marine.

So it is in the Christian life. The new guidelines, which apply 24 hours a day, include not lying (Eph. 4:25), not allowing our anger to lead us into sin (v.26), not giving the devil a chance to influence us (v.27), not stealing (v.28), not speaking dishonorably (v.29), not grieving the Holy Spirit (v.30), avoiding malice (v.31), and being kind (v.32).

Just as a Marine has a constant responsibility to uphold the image of the Corps, so we must remember that we represent Jesus—all the time.