The gray areas … sin and honor? John 9.2-3
Same girl, Dani, with tender heart and probing questions sitting at my kitchen table one afternoon asked, ‘So how do I know where the line is? Regarding sin, I mean?’ At 18 years of age, she wanted to know how to handle the social pressures she faced/faces in the areas of dating, sex, drinking, etc. The three young female athletes looked at me wanting and waiting for clear answers. Here’s the thing—there are quite a few areas of our behavior that are not specifically addressed in Scripture—to her point, like ‘how far can you go and not sin’?
Hmmm … how to answer the question posed by three tender hearts with young faiths, wanting to make right decisions, still wanting to ‘fit in’ with their peers. Tough! I responded, ‘Well, let’s look at the arena of sexuality. God made it clear in the 10 Commandments that sex outside of marriage is adultery and therefore it is sin.’ ‘Yes, but how far is okay then?’ came the question. ‘I tell you what—let’s look at 1 Corinthians 6, and see what Paul said.’ So we looked it up—
v. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
‘So, really our question is not how close to sin can I get…Paul said to go the other way. The idea is to honor God and think of how he would feel about our words, thoughts or behavior. And, if our bodies are to house the Holy Spirit, are we engaged in the ‘holy’ or something far from it?
See, the question of sin is such an important one, as we have been looking at from the first half of John chapter nine. In trying to make up our minds about a gray area, perhaps asking ourselves some clarifying questions will help:
>‘Does this thing benefit me or others?
>Will it likely draw me closer to God?
>Will it glorify God?
>Does doing ‘this or that’ bother my conscience?’
It seems that the gray standard is sometimes more strident than the black and white one, as it takes into account the feelings and welfare of another—in particular, God.
Dear Father, Help me to stop and think about my behavior and whether or not it honors you… prompt me to stop and think, I pray Thee. Amen.