“Is it okay for a Christian to . . . (fill in blank here)?”
Perhaps you are asking it right now.
As Christians, we want to avoid the things that will hurt us spiritually. There are not only things that will build us up, but there are also things that will tear us down. When we start to do something, we should ask ourselves, “Does this build me up spiritually?”
The apostle Paul wrote, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify” (1 Corinthians 10:23 NKJV). The Amplified Bible expands these thoughts like this: “All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].”
Try this test. The next time you are considering doing a particular activity, ask yourself this:
- Does this activity you are considering bring you under its power? You don’t want to be under the power of anything but Jesus Christ.
- Do you have an uneasy conscience about it? As Romans 14:23 says, “Whatever is not from faith is sin” (NKJV). Whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful.
I think a Christian can look at a beautiful sunset and enjoy it more than anyone else, because the Bible says God has given us as Christians all things to richly enjoy. There is a deeper level of appreciation on our part. We can appreciate the simple things in life and find more pleasure and more fulfillment—not because we are looking to things, but because we are looking to God.
Consider the words of Psalm 1:1: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful” (NKJV). Here, the word blessed means, “Oh, how happy.”
So if you want to be a happy person, then walk with God as closely as you can, as opposed to trying to figure out how much you can get away with and still be a Christian.
Pastor Greg Laurie points out, true disciples don’t ask God to get on board with THEIR objectives, they ask God how to get on board with HIS objectives. Monday on A NEW BEGINNING, we’ll talk about discovering God’s will and pursuing it as genuine disciples.