Shades of Gray

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience. For “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience. (But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?  So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. – 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 (NLT)

“Free TV for life? It’s here, and it may even be legal!” – this article appeared on the website today, which describes the advent of streaming TV shows through an Android box without having to go through the enormous expense being charged by cable companies.  The only thing you need to do is buy the Android TV box (dubbed the “cable killer”), which works very similarly to the Apple TV.  Technology and gadget freaks are crazy curious as to what this development is going to do in changing the landscape of multimedia and entertainment.

rightIn the article, the person they interviewed who sells the Android TV box, commented that, “It’s not illegal. It’s up to yourself to decide if it’s immoral.”  His comment connected well with me as it paints a picture of the many decisions we have to make in our lifetime where things may not appear to be wrong and are justifiable. However, when they are examined more closely in the light of God’s word and with the intent of honoring God in our lives, we may come out to view them differently.  We call these the gray areas.

Instead of drawing a decision into these matters, I would very much rather draw our attention into an earnest yearning to study God’s word and formulate personal convictions in these gray areas of life – convictions that we can stand behind so that we remain unwavering in our faith before God.  There are questions we can ask to raise our awareness and come to a conclusion in terms of what is most honoring to the Lord, such as:

  1. Will this decision or action be spiritually edifying – first for others and then for me? – 1 Cor. 10:23
  2. Will this decision or action have a negative impact to my testimony and witness to the world as a child of God? – 1 Cor. 10:32-33
  3. Will this decision or action disturb my conscience, i.e., will this be a stumbling block in my personal relationship with the Lord? – 1 Cor. 10:25-29

Perhaps there are many more questions we can raise in order to arrive at a more God-honoring position in our lives.  But let me summarize it this way: let us do things that are just and not those that we can merely justify. Proverbs 21:3 says, “The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer Him sacrifices.”

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