March 28, 2014

Charting Our Sails Through Gray Waters


This post probably won't make a ton of sense if you've yet to read part 1 and 2 of this mini blog series previously. 

In navigating the gray we have to have a framework, a map of sorts in which to decide how to act. Here's mine (complied from listening to the resources below):

Questions and Thoughts to Consider...
  1. Does the Bible speak clearly to this circumstance or situation? If it does, then it's a black-and-white issue. If it doesn't then it's a gray issue, in which case...
  2. Does this break the law? The scripture teaches us to honor the authorities/governments God puts over us. The example previously given: drinking alcohol underage. (If you don't like it, feel free to move to Europe.)
  3. Is this just my personal preference? In other words, is this a non-sinful issue that is just an annoyance to me personally? I cannot turn my preference into to a rule that others must abide by.
  4. Does this tempt me? Note that I'm talking about each of us personally here. What may tempt me, may not tempt another, and what tempts you, may not tempt me. It's unwise for us to "flirt" with that which tempts us personally, but it's also foolish to think that everyone has the same temptations we do. The mantra here being, "Just because you can't, doesn't mean I can't, and just because I can't, doesn't mean you shouldn't." (Steven Furtick)
  5. Would I be mastered by this? Would it bind me? In the second half of 1 Corinthians 6:12 Paul says, "I will not be enslaved by anything." If the issue is one in which I would be enslaved by, then the voice of wisdom and reason would commend me not to indulge in whatever it is. But, as stated before, just because I would be mastered by something, doesn't mean everyone else would be as well. 
  6. Am I allowing my personal preference to interfere with building a relationship with this person? This question is killer, and God loves to put this one right in front of my eyeballs. What I've learned so far about letting personal preferences interfere with reaching out to others is that it always ends is sheer, stupid pettiness or selfishness. Christians miss so many opportunities to extend friendship and participate in community when they operate under this mindset. I don't have to agree with a person's view on alcohol or Halloween in order to be friends with them. I don't think preferences should prevent us from relationships. In fact, if you only surround yourself with people who think and act exactly like you, then that's a problem. When preferences have precedence we take our eyes off the mission and the real priorities.
  7. Am I Presuming That My Experience is More Important Than Other Peoples Experiences? Sometimes we assume our experience with a certain thing/or situation is the "norm" and then proceed to expect everyone to approach it the same manner we would because it should be their norm too. Finally...
  8. Is it best? Is it helpful (1Cor. 6:12)? Is this wise? Answering these questions changes with each individual scenario and circumstance. What may have been best in one situation, may not be in another.
What do you think may be some other great questions? 

4 comments :

  1. Hi Natalie! My head was nodding in agreement with your answer to #6. I totally agree. We all have a love for the Lord in common, so why let something so small like Halloween come between us? Or make me reject someone because they attend a different church?

    I think there is so much more that binds us than divides us. It's important to be as faithful as we can be to God and his word, and then stretch out to others. Great questions to ask: Do I think I know it all? Do I think that only I know the truth? None of us knows it all. Its best not to act like I do.

    Have a great start to the week!
    Ceil

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    1. I think you pinpointed here something clearly: A lot of the times it comes down to our pride, and inflicting that on others. Great point!

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  2. wow. This is such a perfect resource! I need to share this with Louis!

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    1. Thanks for sharing Ashley! I'll be catching up on your blog here today soon too friend =)

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