Have you ever had a decision to make when the situation was completely in the gray area? Situations where scripture is silent? Our ladies group is currently going through Beth Moore’s Breaking Free Bible Study. The second week of this study focuses on five primary benefits of being free in Christ. As I was looking over my notes preparing for class I realized that these are not only benefits of being free, but if you make them into a grid in which you filter every decision you face, they become safe guards to keep you from stepping into bondage. Here are the benefits and the question you can ask yourself before making a decision.
Benefit #1 is to know God and believe Him. If I do this thing, will it result in me knowing God more? Will I grow more intimately to Him through this?
Benefit #2 is to glorify God. If I do/say this thing that will be seen/heard by others, will they be even more convinced of my Savior or will they believe me to be a hypocrite?
Benefit #3 is to find satisfaction in God. Will this thing cause me to continue to seek God or will it make me seek things that the world says is satisfying (money, better house, nicer car, etc).
Benefit #4 is to experience God’s peace. Will this thing cause any chaos to sneak into my life?
Benefit #5 is to enjoy God’s presence. Will this thing take my focus away from God in any way?
Let me give you an example of running a simple decision through this grid. I love movies – all types, as long as it is well made. I think there are many, many movies that lie in the gray area. There are some, however, that even though they are more appealing than a flame is to a moth, they will burn you if you get too close. Run the movie through the grid of the benefits.
Will the movie cause you to know God and believe Him more? Some answers will be neither here nor there on this one. We could say that unless the movie is faith-based there is no way it would cause someone to know God more. There could be a tendency to become legalistic (which is bondage in itself) so we have to be careful.
By seeing this movie will I glorify God? This is the question in our grid that will be the deciding question. There is NO WAY, let me repeat that, NO WAY that a believer can take part of movies with naked actors/actresses in sex scenes. If you can scripturally prove me wrong I would encourage you to comment or email me. There’s definitely no way to be seen in that atmosphere and have any credibility to share Christ with someone who sees you.
Will this movie increase my satisfaction in God? Will I be able to look at the actresses and not compare myself with their appearance? Will I become dissatisfied with my husband based on the male characters? Don’t laugh…I’ve heard too many grown women talk about Edward and Jacob as if they are real! No real man stands a chance!
Will this movie cause me to experience God’s peace? A few years ago, I went to see a movie with a friend. I had a check in my spirit, but I ignored it. I left the movie theater feeling as if I had cheated on God. I was truly brokenhearted. I asked God to forgive me and I truly believe He did. But you know what; Satan ripped me to shreds for three whole weeks. Think ahead…will there be any room for Satan to creep in and condemn you? If so, trust me, it is not worth it!
Will I be able to enjoy God’s presence? The Holy Spirit dwells inside of each believer. So many times we need to ask ourselves if we should be ashamed of the places we take Him.
This was a difficult blog for me to write…mainly because I’m so far from having it all together. But I’ve made some dumb decisions in my thirty-two years of life and I have learned the hard way from them. God currently has me in a different place in life. He has required me to step it up and in some cases give things up. And I’m okay with that because he has placed in me a passion to declare His name and I want to walk in a manner that’s worthy of that calling. So, my prayer is that somehow God will take the ramblings and use them to encourage someone who is in the gray.
2 Corinthians 5 & 6