Christian Living

One Question Christians Don’t Ask Enough

October 1, 2017

God’s commands give us heart-protecting boundaries.

From the Ten commandments to New Testament instructions for married couples, the Lord’s clear and peace-creating directions simply make sense.

But then there are those gray areas. Those little pockets of life not specifically addressed by the Bible, or maybe liable to various interpretations. You know, the ones subject to controversy.

Should I homeschool or send my children to public school?

Should we use birth control?

Is it okay for Christians to drink? 

Where should Christians shop? 

We can debate all day, and usually end up at two extremes:

One side says, “We have total freedom in Christ, we have grace. We need not overthink.”

The other responds, “No. We have to ___. We cannot ____. We should not ___.”

Is there a way to balance the two? To not abuse the precious grace Jesus has given, but also not cause division through legalism? 

To answer these questions we need to look to Proverbs.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” Proverbs 2:6-8.

The key element here is wisdom, which God’s Word values very, very highly.

The question we as believers skip over in gray-area conversations is this:

Is it wise?

Is this (activity, decision, opinion, etc.) wise?

When thinking about our Christian liberty, this verse always has to be upon our hearts and minds:

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 1 Corinthians 10:23

All too often we only ask, “Is this sin?” and miss out on God’s gracious counsel. Confusion ensues, because it isn’t black and white. In reality, it’s up to each believer’s conscience, as led by the Holy Spirit and according to…wisdom.

The principle of wisdom, as outlined in Scripture, is fear of the Lord that leads to skillful, optimal living. Coming only from above, wisdom involves grasping God’s “sky” view and letting it inform your present actions.

Something may not be inherently evil, but it may not be helpful to you, your family, or your neighbors’ spiritual well-being.

Consider 3 more questions that follow: “Is it wise?”

1. Will it draw me closer to God or farther from God?

Determine whether this activity helps you to obey Jesus, or inhibits your ability to follow Him. Does it promote holiness, or cater to fleshly desires? Be careful here. Make sure Scripture is supporting your reasoning, not the culture.

Does it build others up or can it cause others to stumble?

Although you may individually feel fine doing something, the Bible tells us not to sear another’s conscience or lead them into sin. See this example from Paul in Romans 14:12-23.

Christians follow the image of Christ when they, though having true freedom, lay it down to save the soul of another.

Paul’s own takeaway is this:  “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 12:17-19

A good example of this is dressing modestly. It is not a matter of if I can wear this, but if this would shame the name of Christ—would it make those around me sin?

Does it steward my God-given resources well?

Often when it comes to family and financial situations, we have a one-dimensional outlook (i.e. Will this be enjoyable or not?) However, usually more variables are involved in the equation.

We need to evaluate if it would allow for proper use of our time and energy, and consider its impact on our family’s ability to serve God well.

I hope this was helpful! Keep these questions in mind, and remember, always challenge other believers out of love, not pride. Rather than casting immediate judgment, perhaps asking a friend, “Is this wise?” could be the better route. Blessings!

  1. That’s a great question to ask Dani. I have had my own share of discerning from right and wrong and these questions are quite applicable in the situations I have been facing! As always great post:) your sis, Sue

    1. Thank you, Sue! So glad to hear you’ve been thinking through life in this biblical way. Let’s continue to pray for wisdom! 🙂

  2. This is so lovely!

    I really love the question about is something bringing me to god or pushing me away. I try to consider that when some hard questions come up. I think we really need to use wisdom in our work everyday and in our relationships. There’s so much the Bible teaches us and being in the word is the one most important way to gain such wisdom! Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to connect with you and other bloggers in the Called to Blog group 🙂

    1. Yes, we definitely need to search God’s Word for wisdom for daily life! It’s not always a clear-cut matter of sin, but of whether we are glorifying God and being more like Christ in what we do. Thank you for visiting, Gina! 🙂

  3. Hi Dani!
    I love this. This is such an important question to ask. Your post connects well with my recent post about hearing God’s voice as you touched on similar points 🙂 Wisdom from God is key to walking right with Him and also not leading others astray!

    1. Cool, I will check out your post! I agree, we need God’s wisdom not only to navigate our life, but to rightly advise others. Thanks for reading, Lisa! 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing. Yes, I believe we as Christians need to ask those questions more. Will it draw me closer to God? I need to ask myself that question when I go surfing on the internet and waste time.

    1. I fall into that too! Even though many things (like the internet) aren’t sinful, we can let them take our attention away from Jesus and our mission. Thank you for stopping by, Charlene!

    1. Thanks Gretchen! A Proverbs Bible study we’re doing at my church has really helped me think through these questions. 🙂

  5. Wonderful post, Dani! This concept has been coming up every where I look recently – and it is such GOD timing! 🙂 Thank you for sharing these important truths!

  6. Yes! You put this all so well. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I think it’s so important to tie in that wisdom is the key here and seeking a big picture perspective of God’s. Thanks so much!

  7. Hello, this is my first time on your website and the post was totally helpful.
    I have had incidents in the past where I had to make decisions and thought later on; I shouldn’t have done that.
    The question, “is it wise” is very versatile and will help me make my decisions more carefully. Thank you for this revelation. God bless you and your team.

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