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Every Day Excuses?

 

“Jesus never promised that faith would be easy. He only promised that it is the best and only way for mankind to truly live”


The other day I was in my family’s favorite burger joint having lunch with my twin toddlers and trying to pay close enough attention to them so they wouldn’t terrorize the other customers. While having my attention divided, I overheard a group of ladies having a conversation. I tried not to eavesdrop, but sometimes you just can’t help it.

Part of their conversation centered around one of the ladies’ living arrangements. Her friends were congratulating her for getting into her new house. They talked about the usual new homeowner stuff: location, square footage, and all of the remodeling or projects that needed to be completed. The conversation then turned to what was going to happen with her relationship and living arrangements with her boyfriend. I know, none of my business and I tried not to listen, I truly did.

I don’t know which one of her friends asked the question but it’s the response that quite puzzled me. After being asked if he was going to move in with her, which was answered in the affirmative, one of the ladies asked if they were going to get married. The lady answered, “I’m not sure if we’re ready for that type of commitment or if he’s the one.”

When did having a live in boyfriend, and possibly a financial partner in the investment of a home, become less of a commitment than being married? When did shacking up for the sake of convenience become a more acceptable level of risk than committing to a marriage relationship?

I don’t intend to come of as a holier-than-thou purity policeman, so please don’t read that into my comments. I only bring it up because it reminds of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.” (ESV)

Admittedly I have no idea if these ladies love Jesus and are committed to following in his footsteps. But sadly, I have observed this same type of conversation play out in the lives of believers. The spirit of the Corinthian “All is lawful” that Paul confronted in his day is alive and well in the syncretism of the American Christian faith. I would even argue that it’s more dangerous to the Christian faith than it is for those on the outside of Christ.

The reason why I believe it is more dangerous is because faith in Jesus and his grace to forgive is used as an excuse to engage in all kinds of destructive behaviors. Many Christians engage in these behaviors not because they think that Jesus will simply forgive their indiscretions; rather its because they are reinterpreting Scripture to fit with the sexual appetites of our society. The love of God overshadows His holiness and so all kinds of false views of healthy relationships amongst the genders exists. Jesus get’s blamed for the lack of faithfulness and fruitfulness in many of today’s believers. Sadly many don’t see that there’s anything wrong with it.

I recently was involved in working with a couple that was engaged in a sexually immoral lifestyle. The crazy thing I found while working through the situation was the inner struggle I felt. There were a couple of times where I thought I might be blowing things out of proportion. I had to admit I was provoked by the thought, “What’s so wrong with a little bit of sexual activity?” Thankfully, the wreckage that this sin was having on this couple was clearly evident that I knew that I was moving in grace and truth. But I couldn’t help but feel that the Enemy was trying to get us all to believe that “All things are lawful.”

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he specifically points out that the logic “All things are lawful” is faulty at best and heretical at worst. While Christ has set us free, that does not give the man or woman of God the license to just do whatever they please. It’s not about a conservative or liberal point of view either. At the core of the issue, I believe, is whether we trust that God’s way is truly best for us. Jesus never promised that faith would be easy. He only promised that it is the best and only way for mankind to truly live. The question for us is, are we willing to take the plain understanding of Scripture and submit our lives to it or will we reinterpret it based off what we want it to say?

Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV) True peace is found only in submitting ourselves to the law of Christ and allowing him to be the boss of our lives, including our sexuality. Let us not be tempted to come up with our own every day excuses.

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