There is a growing group of Christians today that want nothing to do with any kind of restriction from scripture or common sense Christian values in matters of faith and life. Any objection to the kind of movies they watch, the kind of music they listen to, the way they dress, the jokes they tell, getting wasted, the use of curse words or inappropriate language is usually seen as being “legalistic.”
The problem here is, I think, we want to be mere men, but we are not mere men. We want to be like everyone else, but we are not everyone else. We want to be normal, but we are not normal. We want to be ordinary, but we are not ordinary. God made us and called us to be extraordinary. And instead of letting scripture shape the way we live, we water it down a little for culture to have a little wiggle room around truth.
But it is important to understand that the things we watch and listen to have profound effects on us. Like my spiritual father used to say, “what goes in comes out.” Therefore, we must be determined to bring glory to God in every area of our lives, allowing scripture to be the determining factor in our daily choices. Because there are things we should not tolerate as Christians. So, before you tell that joke, before you watch that movie, or download that album, here are a few scriptures you might want to consider:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Are my actions, words and deeds, tweets and Facebook posts glorifying to God? Do they bring honor to God? Do they lift others up and not bully them or make fun of them. Are the songs and movies and music videos I’m watching glorying to God?
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:4
- the question is usually asked, did Jesus ever tell jokes? Of course he did, even though the scripture is silent, one can assume he did because he was fully human. What I cannot imagine though, is Jesus telling dirty jokes. His jokes must have lifted people, taught them some life lesson. It was corrective of bad behavior. It was soothing to the ear and never out of place.
- The real question is, am I engaged in filthy gestures and behavior? Do I have any indecent habit and attire? Do I have a tendency to excite lust by using impure and obscene words? Do I enjoy foolish, idle, vain, corrupt, unsavory and light words? The last time I checked “Crude joking” and all the above were “out of place” for the believer.
But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 14:23
- Are there activities I am engaged in that I am not quite sure whether I should be engaging in?
All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful, but not all things build up, “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 10:23
- What profit or help am I getting from what I am watching, listening to, wearing or telling? What value am I adding to others?
- Am I building myself spiritually by the activities I am engaging in? Are others encouraged, build up by the jokes I’m telling, the words I’m saying, the songs I’m singing, the conversation I’m having? What spiritual benefit is being imparted?
- Am I putting myself under bondage? Am I forming habits that are spiritually crippling? Are some things becoming my master? Is there any kind of addictions forming?
Moreover, it is required of stewards that they are found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2
- Am I spending my money, time and energy wisely? Am I investing my time and money and energy wisely?
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Ephesians 4:30
- Are my actions offensive to the Holy Spirit’s presence? Do my actions drive away the Holy Spirit or do they draw Him near?
But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 1 Corinthians 8:9, 11
- Are my actions and activities causing others to stumble?