There comes a point in our Christian walk when we get confused whether God is pleased with our actions or not. No, I’m not talking about that sin you find so hard to deal with. Nor am I referring to that struggle you’re constantly battling with going 3 years now. I’m talking about issues that were not EXPLICITLY talked about in God’s Word.
An example of such that I have encountered is whether to attend worship service in church or listening to podcasts or worship services by the computer screen is okay. After all, they are both spending quality time with God. Another would be watching TV series when I’m home on vacations. We all know how abundant they are these days.
This post talks about how YOUR PERSONAL CONVICTION/S will help you decide how you will respond to the GREY AREAS you will encounter in life. An entry inspired by Jeremy Bridges, the author of The Pursuit of Holiness book.
In Chapter 9 of his book, he provided certain guidelines taken from 1 Corinthians 6: 12 that I find very useful to share with you.
“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything” – 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)
In NLT version it says, “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.
1. Is it helpful? Physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, does it promote growth? Sports may be something you enjoy and should be helpful to you physically. But if it causes you to be competitive in terms of looking down on others, becoming proud, and cheating, then I say, be careful. Your sport MAY BE a gateway for you to sin.
2. Does it hook you in? Do you find it hard to stop once you begin? And after doing this particular activity, are you happy about it?
This is where I found out about my addiction to TV series. I remembered myself delaying home work, not getting enough sleep and not spending enough time with my family as I watched. Even if my grades were not a problem, stress eats me up because of cramming. This affected my attitude towards spending time with family and friends too. After watching also, guilt creeps in to me. I didn’t think it was sin until I got convicted.
3. Does it hurt others? “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.” – 1 Corinthisans 8: 13 (NIV)
So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.” – 1 Corinthisans 8: 13 (NLT)
There are things that we need people who love us to confront us with. We may not exactly see the consequences of our actions right away. But they do.
One of my colleagues at work noticed that my Mondays became less energetic than before. She noticed a difference in my enthusiasm at work as well. And then I began to realize that my worship to God in His Temple compared to worshiping Him in front of the computer screen had a SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE in MY walk. I do not feel as refreshed or rested when I didn’t personally sing praises to our God.
We need to listen and be sensitive to people around us. Lest, we cause others to fall.
Guideline number 4. Does it glorify God? “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it ALL for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10: 31 (NIV) (emphasis mine).
A person I love told me, God’s purpose is always to glorify Himself. We are called to be salt and light of this world. We are also commanded to be imitators of Christ. We should then do nothing less than to glorify Him in EVERYTHING we do.
As the start of the year, I also URGE you as our Church encouraged us to make a list of your PERSONAL CONVICTIONS. What are the things you WON’T do because you know it WON’T PLEASE GOD? Remember that it is by the direction of the Holy Spirit and also YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to be pure and holy before God.
“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” – Romans 8: 13
Don’t delay because each time you say YES to temptation, it’s harder to say NO the next time.