Sometimes it’s easy to see what God would want us to do in a specific area – sometimes he’s provided clear instructions about how we should act in a certain situation. But it isn’t always easy to see what God would have us do. For example, as a Christian, should I play games like GTA V? Or to take that further – should I play video games at all? Is it alright to watch violent movies? What about ones with sex scenes? Is it justifiable to use my time watching movies at all? How about the way I spend my money – how should I do that?
There are a lot of things we can do that the bible doesn’t deal specifically with. Things that we’d love to know God’s opinion on, and things we’d secretly prefer not to know his opinion on in case it restricts us from doing what we want.
But within the bible God has given us some guidelines about how we should approach things he hasn’t clearly instructed us about, and John Macarthur (an American preacher) pulls out verses that provide the following questions to help us make these decisions. (see the full post here)
1. Will it benefit me spiritually? First Corinthians 10:23
2. Will it put me in bondage? First Corinthians 6:12
3. Will it defile God’s temple? First Corinthians 6:19-20
4. Will it cause others to stumble? First Corinthians 8:8-9
5. Will it help the cause of evangelism? First Corinthians 10:32-33
6. Will it violate my conscience? First Corinthians 10:25-29
7. Will it bring glory to God? First Corinthians 10:31
These questions can be extremely helpful in clearing up some questions we have. But at the same time, when we actually apply them to our lives and what we do, a lot of “issues” come up. For example – playing video games doesn’t really benefit me spiritually and can be addictive. Watching movies could be bad for my conscience (or even just desensitise me to certain things and waste time). Does this mean I should give them up?
They’re hard questions to ask and honestly apply, and they call for a lot of prayer about what we are and should be doing. But here’s one tip – When you find it hard to give something up for the glory of God, shift your focus. Don’t focus on what you can’t do (like Adam and Eve did in the garden). Focus instead on what God has done and the blessings he has given (especially salvation in Jesus). It helps a lot.
Are we willing to submit to God in these areas? If you’re convicted that something your doing isn’t quite justifiable from the bible then will you be willing to give it up? Or will you do what I often do and try to justify it subtly in your mind so you don’t have to change?
It’s good to consider what we do and how it matches with God’s word and how he wants us to live. But are we willing to change?
Soli Deo Gloria.