So many times I’m asked as a pastor “Is it right or sinful to ………..” I’ve heard everything from drinking, smoking marijuana, yoga, cussing, fibbing, and whether or not it’s ok to lie to your wife when she asks you if what she is wearing looks good.
First of all, we need to all understand that we as Christians should decide what is right or wrong or good or evil, based upon what scripture says. This is God’s heart and he gave us Christ to be an example to us. If scripture says something is wrong, then it’s wrong and continuing to do so, would be sinning.
But what do we do when we run into things or subjects that God doesn’t directly address or even put perimeters on? What do we do then?
This is when we have to go back to scripture and ask some very important questions, and I believe that most of the time we ask the WRONG question.
When we are asking ourselves whether or not something is right or wrong, we usually start with the question. Is this sinning? Is this wrong? But I want you to try something else. Is what I’m doing or what I’m saying Glorifying God and does it edify those around me.
Whether or not something is good or bad, shouldn’t really matter to us as believers. What should matter is that we are representing Christ to the fullest. Bringing Glory to God should always be the most important thing we do as believers.
Even if we study, pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his good and perfect will to us and we walk away and say this is OK for me; that doesn’t always just give you the right to do it. In fact, Paul tells us that we are to abstain from partaking if it makes our brother or sister struggle in their own personal walk. The Holy Spirit convicts our Spirit different in areas;
How much food is too much? Is this a cuss word? Is this good music to listen to? Is this shirt or shorts too small? Where is the line?
God’s Spirit speaks to us differently on some of these issues. Yes, you need to search after God’s heart and listen to his leading in your life. If someone is struggling in their own walk and you know that it harms them or effects their spirit in a negative way, then we should not do it. Or at least show them the respect and honor as a brother or sister in Christ and not do it in their presence.
Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 8 & 9 and Romans chapters 14 & 15 are not meant to try and keep us from things. They are meant to bring unity in the body of Christ and live for a greater purposes than ourselves.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.
1 Corinthians 10:23
23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
Ask the Right Questions and in doing so, we bring honor and glory to the Body of Christ and to our Heavenly Father:
1 Corinthians 10:31- 11:1
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 11 1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Set a Christ like example and bring honor and glory to God. We do this by loving and creating unity in the body of Christ. Ask the right questions and you will start to see God work in a powerful way in your own life. Don’t live for yourself, live for God, and for those around you!