People who call themselves Christians are involved in just about every activity you can possibly imagine, and sometimes attempt to justify very ungodly actions by claiming that they are ministering to others through their sinful lifestyles. As we live in a culture that tolerates every type of life and justifies every type of lifestyle, how can we know what we should and shouldn’t do, especially in questionable areas? Here are eleven Bible verses to help shed light on this topic.
1. Does the Word of God address it directly?
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:—1 Thessalonians 4:3
There is no question whatsoever that God tells us we are to stay morally pure. When the Word of God is plain and simple, then there should be no question in my mind. God’s plan is one man for one woman for one lifetime. The Word of God is clear; therefore there should be no question. I should stay morally pure.
2. Can I thank God for this particular thing or this activity?
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.—1 Thessalonians 5:18
I should not participate in any activity for which I cannot thank God.
3. Will this bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ?
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.—1 Corinthians 10:31
Any activity that I am involved in should bring glory to Jesus Christ. If, in any way, it brings dishonor to His name, then I should stay away from it.
4. Will it cause my brother to stumble?
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.—Romans 14:21
I should be more concerned about my Christian brother’s walk than I am about fulfilling my own desires.
5. Will it build up the body of Christ?
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.—Romans 14:19
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.—1 Corinthians 10:23
My purpose in life as a Christian is to bring others to Jesus Christ and then to train them to live for Him. I want to build up the body of Christ, not to tear it down. I should not participate in anything that’s going to hurt the body of Christ.
6. Will it help me accomplish my goals?
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,—Hebrews 12:1
There are some things that are not sin that will weigh me down and will make me ineffective as a Christian. If something is going to weigh me down and not allow me to be effective in running the race for Christ, I should not participate in that activity.
7. Will it appear evil?
Abstain from all appearance of evil.—1 Thessalonians 5:22
If the activity that I am doing appears evil to other people, it will hinder my ability to minister to them. I should stay away from it.
8. Will it make provision for my flesh?
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.—Romans 13:14
There are certain activities that, if I participate in them, may lead me into a sinful activity. I need to make sure that I don’t put myself in a position where my flesh can easily be tempted.
9. Will it violate my conscience?
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.—Romans 14:23
The fact is that there are some things that would violate my conscience that may not violate yours. There are some things that I would not have a problem participating in, but you would, because it would violate your conscience. No matter how acceptable an activity may be in our culture, if it violates your conscience, even if you cannot find a biblical reason, you ought not participate in it.
10. Will it violate the ministry standards where I serve?
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;—Ephesians 6:5
If I am serving in a particular ministry, and their standards (though they may be arbitrary) dictate that I should or should not participate in a particular activity, I need to take it as God’s will for me not to be involved in that activity, because God wants me to honor my employer or the leader of the ministry with which I am associated.
11. Will it hurt my testimony in any way?
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.—1 Corinthians 8:13
My personal testimony is more important than eating flesh or engaging in any particular activity. If an action or activity will hurt my testimony, then I need to do as the Apostle Paul did: avoid it at any cost.
I have found in the last thirty-six years of ministry that these questions give me peace and direction when I face a questionable situation. I hope they are a benefit to you.