The year is 2013, and people who call themselves Christians are involved in just about every activity you can possibly imagine. Several years ago, there was a woman who lived in another Nevada county, who was running for county sheriff. She was a prostitute and very proud of her profession. She also claimed to be a Christian and claimed that she was “ministering through her” profession. Living in a culture that tolerates every type of life, and justifies every type of lifestyle, how can I know what I should and shouldn’t do, especially in questionable areas?
1. Does the Word of God address it directly? (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
There is no question whatsoever that God tells us that we are to stay morally pure. When the Word of God is plain and simple, then there should be no question in my mind. God’s plan for sexual intimacy is one man for one woman for one lifetime. The Word of God is clear; therefore there should be no question. I should stay morally pure.
2. Can I thank God for this particular thing or this activity? (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
I should not participate in any activity for which I cannot thank God.
3. Will this bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:31)
This activity that I am involved in should bring glory to Jesus Christ. If, in any way, it brings dishonor to His name, then I should stay away from it.
4. Will it cause my brother to stumble? (Romans 14:21)
I should be more concerned about my Christian brother walk than I am about fulfilling my own desires.
5. Will it build up the body of Christ? (Romans 14:19, 1 Corinthians 10:23)
My purpose in life as a Christian is to bring others to Jesus Christ and then to train them to live for Him. I want to build up the body of Christ, not to tear it down. I should not participate in anything that’s going to hurt the body of Christ.
6. Will it help me accomplish my goals? (Hebrews 12:1)
There are obviously some things that are not sin that will weigh me down and will make me ineffective as a Christian. If something is going to weigh me down and not allow me to be effective in running the race for Christ, I should not participate in that activity.
7. Will it appear evil? (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
If the activity that I am doing appears evil to other people, it will hinder my ability to minister to them. I should stay away from it.
8. Will it make provision for my flesh? (Romans 13:14)
There are certain activities that, if I participate in them, may lead me into a sinful activity. I need to make sure that I don’t put myself in a position where my flesh can easily be tempted.
9. Will it violate my conscience? (Romans 14:23)
The fact is that there are some things that would violate my conscience that may not violate yours. There are some things that I would not have a problem participating, but you would, because it would violate your conscience. No matter how acceptable an activity may be in our culture, if it violates your conscience, even if you cannot find a biblical reason, you ought not participate in it.
10. Will it violate the ministry standards, where I serve? (Ephesians 6:5)
If I am serving in a particular ministry and their standards, though they may be arbitrary, dictate that I should or should not participate in a particular activity, then I need to take it as God’s will for me not to be involved in that activity, because God wants me to honor my employer or the leader of the ministry in which I am associated.
11. Will it hurt my testimony in any way? (1 Corinthians 8:13)
My personal testimony is more important than eating flesh or drinking wine. If an action or activity will hurt my testimony, than I need to do as the Apostle Paul did, avoid it at any cost.
I have found in the last thirty-six years of ministry that these questions give me peace and direction when I face a questionable situation. I hope they are a benefit to you.