DO NOT EAT.
Those are the big, bold, capitalized letters on every packet of silica gel. There are no gray areas when it comes to whether or not you should consume silica gel – no excuses and no need to argue. Not everything is that clear though, even when it comes to the Bible. The Bible was written thousands of years before cigarettes, modern birth control, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, so how do we navigate the gray areas not mentioned in Scripture?
Last Sunday at Awaken, we explored the topic of gray areas and got some pointers from Scripture on how to honor God even when it’s not in black and white. I hit as many controversial topics as I could, since we were on the subject, and we had a blast. In fact, I even got to pray with 3 people to give their lives to Jesus!
According to 2 Peter 1, God has given us “all we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His name.” So although it would be impossible for the Bible (or any book) to address every single scenario we will encounter, it does equip us with the tools to make Godly, discerning decisions.
Using what the Bible does tell us, we came up with 4 questions that we can ask when facing a “gray area”…
Can I glorify God in it?
1 Corinthians 10:31 – Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
If something we want to do defeats the purpose we were created, DON’T DO IT!
It may be lawful, but is it helpful?
1 Corinthians 10:23 – All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
As humans, we are free to do many things, but that doesn’t meant we should do all of them! If it’s not helpful or beneficial to others, we should avoid it.
Will it pollute or purify?
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
I know you think that what you watch or listen to doesn’t affect you, but it does. What goes in must come out, and Jesus said in Mark 7 that it’s not what goes in that defiles a man, but what comes out. How did it get there in the first place? You put it there!
Will it cause others to stumble?
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
This question is golden because it helps us to prioritize. You may be free to do it, but if it’s going to hurt your witness, is it worth it?
Earlier in the week, we allowed people to anonymously ask questions through our website about “gray areas.” We got some great questions, so I chose the top 9 to answer during the services. I answered 3 per service, then we pieced them all together so everyone could see them all (video below). I answered questions about sex, birth control, drinking, smoking, tattoos, addiction, violent video games, and more. I haven’t received any hate mail yet, but I’m ready!
You can watch or listen to the whole message HERE or watch the video of just the questions below. Enjoy!