I Corinthians 6:12-20
12) All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
13) Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
14) And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
15) Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16) What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
17) But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Life is full of decisions. Every day, we make a multitude of decisions that affect our lives. The older we get, the more important those decisions become and the greater difference they make in our lives. As Christians, it is God’s Word that should govern our decision making. Some things are “black and white”. There is no question about it…the Bible is clear. For example, the Ten Commandments are clearly laid out and we know without any doubt what we should and shouldn’t do in those areas. But what about the gray areas? What about what we should wear? What about what we should watch? What about places we should avoid? What about music we should or shouldn’t listen to?
Well, here are ten questions that I pray will help you as much as they have helped me when it comes to these gray areas in life:
1. Will it be spiritually profitable? – 1 Corinthians 6:12
This is the principle of Expediency! Paul is saying that “all things that are not unlawful for me are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient or to my advantage spiritually. The first thing that we should do when we don’t know what to do is to ask if this activity or this person is going to profit me spiritually. Things that we do should cultivate godliness.
For example, sleep in and of itself is not sin, but if it is overdone, it is not beneficial for us spiritually and physically. The question shouldn’t be “Can I do it and get away with it?” It should be “Can I do it and it benefit me spiritually?”
2. Will it build me up? – I Corinthians 10:23
This is the principal of Edification. I Corinthians 14:26: “Let all things be done unto edifying.” Cultivate self control… “Learn to say no when you have every right to say yes.” Ask, “If I do this will it build me up spiritually? Will it benefit me spiritually?”
3. Will it slow me down in the race? – Hebrews 12:1
This is the principle of Excess. You have SIN and then you have WEIGHTS. The word “weights” here means bulk. This is talking about things that waste our time. I Corinthians 9:24-27
When runners run in a race, they rid themselves of any non-useful weight. “Bulk” in our life often causes us to get our priorities out of line and add things to our life that don’t need to be there. If it diverts your attention from God, avoid it!
4. Will it bring me into bondage? – I Corinthians 6:12
This is the Principle of Enslavement. Our mindset should be that “I will not allow anything to master me other than Jesus Christ.” Ask yourself, “Will it become something that will be something that I can’t let go of?”
For example, it is not wrong to have a nice car or nice things, but if God were to ask you to give them up and serve him on a mission field or in full time service, those things should not have such a grip on us that it would keep us from doing what God wants us to do. If you think that something will divert your attention from God and His glory, avoid it. Don’t allow anything other than Jesus Christ to become your master!
5. Will it hypocritically cover my sin? – I Peter 2:16
This is the principle of Equivocation or Lying. This is using spiritual freedom to make excuse for my sin. Be careful not to turn liberty into a license. Galatians 5:13
6. Will it violate the Lordship of Christ in my life? – Romans 14:2
This is the principle of Encroachment. You have to ask yourself, “Is this something that I believe the Lord would want me to do? Don’t look around to everyone else to see what they are doing. Look to your Master. Don’t violate your conscience! When your conscience speaks, listen! Don’t criticize someone who doesn’t do certain things because it violates their conscience. Don’t mock someone with a little different standard than you have. We are each to give an account of how we listen or refuse to listen to our conscience.
7. Will it help other Christians by its example? – I Corinthians 8:9
This is the principle of Example. Romans 14:13-19
“The pattern of our life is setting an example, so limit your liberties!” Am I doing something that is going to help or harm others spiritually?
8. Will it lead the lost towards a relationship with Christ? – I Corinthians 10:27
This is the principle of Evangelism! One of the greatest testimonies that we have to a lost person is the love and concern we have for our brothers and sisters in Christ and a purity and honesty and integrity that he or she is not use to seeing.
9. Will it be consistent with Christ-likeness? – I John 2:6
This is the principle of Emulation! This is the greatest help in decision making…Would Jesus do this if He were here right now? Would He listen to this? Would He wear this? Would he take this? Would he drink this? Would he watch this? Would he go there?
10. Will it glorify God? – I Corinthians 10:31
This is the principle of Exaltation. Will this lift up Jesus? Will this glorify Him?
Be careful in the gray areas of life to know and do exactly what God wants you to do. If you fail in the gray areas and do not take care of your conscience, you will soon move to making poor decisions in the “black and white” areas.