While the Scriptures give us a lot of direction for life, there are a lot of issues we face that don’t seem to have a direct scriptural response. In other words, the Bible seems silent. But in actuality, the Scriptures are not silent on these matters. Instead, the Bible gives Christians the liberty to make God-glorifying decisions based on their convictions and principles from God’s word.
As followers of Jesus, God desires us to reflect his character, conduct and commitments, yet each day we are faced with lots of choices that the Bible seems unclear on. In other words, what does the Bible say about the movies we watch, the music we listen to, and the activities we engage in. Well, below is a list of questions, based on the principles of God’s word that can help guide you when making choices, in what I call the grey areas of life:
- Expedience: Will it be spiritually profitable?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. – 1 Cor. 6:12
- Edification: Will it build me up?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. – I Cor. 10:23
- Excess: Will it slow me down in the race?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. – Hebrews 12:1
- Enslavement: Will it bring me into bondage?
I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. – 1 Cor. 6:12
- Equivocation: Will it hypocritically cover my sin? Does it give me a license to sin?
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. – Galatians 5:13
- Encroachment: Will it violate my conscience?
He who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. – Romans 14:23
- Example: Will it strengthen and help other Christians by example?
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. – Romans 14:13
- Evangelism: Will it lead others to Christ?
Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved. – 1 Cor. 10:32-33
- Emulation: Will it be consistent with Christ-likeness?
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. – I John 2:6
- Exultation: Will 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
- So what questions do you have? Run them through the principles above. And remember what is good for me, might not be good for you. So be careful not to judge, but hold true to your own convictions.
- As a people charged with the task of being salt and light (Matthew 5:13–16), a “royal priesthood” called out of darkness and into light (1 Peter 2:9), we must consider how our choices contribute or detract from our calling.