Let’s drill down deeper. Last week I posed some questions that quite frankly concern me. I often wonder if our adapting theology is God approved. I mean some things seem so obviously in need of correcting or revamping over time but what about the more subtle changes we condone, maybe even reluctantly at first, but then eventually accept without a moment’s thought. Oh the enemy is so very very sly and cunning! Ever vigilant, we must not allow ourselves to get caught up in the flow. I am old enough to remember when Sunday was a day of rest but now after church I too shop and clean along with everyone else. When the stores first opened their doors to Sunday customers there was a bit of buzz in protest. But soon we resigned ourselves to it and moved on. Whether Biblically wrong or not, it fell by the wayside, swept aside in the tide of the majority rule.
Still God’s laws are not The Ten “Suggestions” and it leaves me scratching my head at times.
Plus, as I said last week, it also feels as though some of God’s Commandments are more important than others. The ones I give more credence to may be different from yours, or are we all wrong-a law is a law? Is what I do on Sunday as important as the fact that I have never killed anyone? The truth is we each have, past and present, personal decisions to make, not government mandated ones, regarding our own compliance to each of the ten basic precepts God gave us. This responsibility never changed with our changing times. It was and is always personal. On top of that, decisions made, how much weight should we assign our behaviour regarding such choices? This is where the drill hits the bedrock.
This is also where is can get confusing. For example-I can personally feel strongly about abortion or gay rights or even modern day slavery but how far am I willing to take it? Should I protest, speak out or join a like-minded group? Or, maybe I am OK with the greyness of the status quo, that is until a particular issue hits close to home, perhaps with a family member, a friend or a grandchild. At some point I have to choose which side of the line I am on and then how far I will go.
Let’s stop right here… and consider discernment. What does the Bible say about this gift? There are 3 stages of discernment: awareness, understanding and action.
First of all, in 1 Corinthians 12:10 we read that discernment is a gift. Let’s pray for it! Let’s ask God to help us understand what he desires. Let’s ask him to show us the Truth.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
I think this next verse in Hebrews 5:14 is key. “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Trained by constant practice, eh. Sounds pretty straightforward to me. I initially become aware by continually teaching myself to seek the truth. Is it right or wrong? We won’t ever know where to head until we have gained the discernment to recognize good from evil. This may put my own Sunday dilemma into perspective somewhat. But what about the other issues I feel so strongly about?
Here there is one more point, most critical of all I believe. You’ve done the work. You’ve prayed and studied. You know what God desires. You have discerned the truth. You absolutely know where you stand. Now it is time to ask yourself if your action on a certain issue is more important than showing people Jesus’ love? What would Jesus do (WWJD)? This is not at all outdated.
Doesn’t he, thank goodness, love each of us despite what we do? Can’t we too be loving with each other even if we do not agree just as he always was and is?
Yes, I pray for the courage to always speak up in obedience when I should but my desire to act on my beliefs is a different matter entirely. Give it the WWJD test before you make a move.