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7 Questions to Ask about the Gray Areas in Your Life

7 Questions to Ask about the Gray Areas in Your Life

Do you ever encounter a situation and think: God doesn’t seem to be clear about this; how do I determine what is right? Can I have it both ways? Does it really matter what I decide?

In God’s grace and kindness, there are many areas in our lives where he has given us freedom and discretion. However, he doesn’t leave us hanging. In the Scriptures, he has given us clear principles on how to live the abundant life that he created us to live. So ask away...

  • Is it ok for me to gamble on March Madness?
  • What about going out for drinks with my friends?
  • I love my yoga class, but something seems off  - is it ok to keep going?
  • I’m half-way through binging on Game of Thrones; should I watch the rest?

Then consider each situation in light of these 7 questions:

  1. Will it benefit me spiritually? (1 Cor. 10:23) Some things may be permissible but they may not beneficial to our spiritual growth. For instance will watching that show help our thoughts be pure, good and praiseworthy?
  2. Will it bring bondage? (1 Cor. 6:12) Even though a certain thing may be allowed, will participating in that behavior lead to debt or addiction? This is why it might be ok for one person to have a drink but for another person it will lead to addiction.
  3. Will it defile God’s temple? The Bible teaches that for the Christ-follower, their body is the temple of God – it’s the place where the Spirit of God lives. (1 Cor 6:19-20 and Romans 6:13). We are to take care of our bodies and not participate in things that will destroy or defile them. For instance, since smoking is shown to promote lung cancer and is addictive, it would be wise not to smoke.
  4. Will it hinder my witness? (1 Cor. 10:32-33, 1 Peter 3:15-17) Being a Christian does not mean we are perfect – it means we are sinners saved by God’s grace.  But it also means that other people are watching us. The way we live and the things we say can either help or hinder our witness.  In order to point people to Jesus we need ask, “Will doing _______ hinder my witness?”  If the answer is yes, then wisdom says not to do it.
  5. Will it violate my conscience? (Romans 14:23 and 1 Cor. 8:7) The Bible may not specifically say something is wrong, but if it violates your conscience then you should not do it. If you proceed to do it when your conscience says its wrong then for you that is sin.
  6. Will it bring glory to God? 1 Cor.10:31 In everything we do, we need to ask, “Will this glorify God?”  If it will not, we would be wise to avoid it.
  7. Will it cause someone else to stumble? (1 Cor. 8:8-9 & Romans 13:10)  We may answer the first 6 questions and determine it is ok to do a certain thing. But we still have a final question to ask, “Will doing this cause someone else to sin?” After answering the first 6 questions you may decide having a glass of wine is ok for you, but when you know it will negatively impact others - whether by going against their conscience or drawing them into addiction - then out of love choose not to do it.

May God give you discernment in every area of your life as you seek to honor him!

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