Today’s Scripture: Ezekiel 44-48
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:8-9
In Ezekiel 44:23, God gave this command to the priests of the sanctuary: “They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common [profane] and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.” Note carefully that the priests were to teach the people, not simply tell them. It’s the difference between telling a person what to avoid and helping him learn why he should refrain from things that displease the Lord.
Now let’s talk about the gray areas. How can we discern right from wrong in these things? The apostle Paul said, “‘Everything is permissible for me’–but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’–but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Here is a simple guide to discern right from wrong. First, we can ask ourselves, will this draw me closer to the Lord or take me farther away from Him? Second, does this practice have an addictive quality that is likely to get me into its grip?
In Ezekiel’s day, the responsibility to teach the people to discern good and evil was given to the priests of the sanctuary. Today, this is not something we can hand off to the pastor or Christian worker. All believers carry the responsibility to set an example of biblical behavior others can follow. And we are to teach them how to discern the way for themselves.
Lord, I confess there are gray areas of behavior and attitudes I’d like to hold on to. By Your Holy Spirit, I will set them aside for the sake of others and to honor You. Amen.
Are there gray-area behaviors in your life that you should reconsider in light of how they might affect others?