A friend of mine who works as a teacher was recently telling me about a conversation she had with several of her band students about the Bible.
One student recently started to look closely at the Bible and indicated he wanted to make some changes in his life. Although I was not part of that conversation, from what I understand, a group starting talking because the young man was reading some passages that teach about how we should live and how to deal with things that are not pleasing to God. He was reading to see how his life measured up to the life a true Christian should live.
I do not recall the exact passage or the exact command from the Bible this young man was talking about, but the dialogue went sort of like this, following.
“Wow, so God really doesn’t want me to do that? Well, what about this other thing? I mean, it is really similar to what God states He does not want me to do, but it is not specifically stated as being wrong. So, am I okay if I do this other thing?” There were several people involved in the conversation. Some more discussion took place. Someone spoke up and made this point, saying, “You know, it may be okay or it may not be okay. But honestly, why would you want to split that hair? If there’s a chance of something not being pleasing to God, then why take that chance?”
I think there may be many times that we, as Christians, find ourselves in that student’s shoes and similar feelings or situations. We want to see just how far we can go. We want to know exactly what is wrong so we can get as close to it as possible without going over the edge. Why do we try to push God’s boundaries? Why not limit our actions to doing what we know is definitely pleasing to God and not was is if-y or on the edge?
Galatians 5:22-26 is a good scripture to provide some guidance or guidelines to pursue. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
If we focus our daily living on pleasing God, instead of simply avoiding punishment or living on the edge of wrong, then maybe we’ll have more success at remaining faithful. Remember, please don’t just try to stay out of trouble; aim to please God in all you do.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.