All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
—1 Corinthians 10:23
There’s a common question Christians ask that may indicate a spiritual problem in their lives: “Can you be a Christian and still . . . ?” (Fill in the blank.) In other words, “Can I get away with this and still technically be saved?”
Instead, what we ought to ask is, “Because I am a Christian, how can I best serve the Lord? What can I do to grow spiritually?”
If you’ve ever wondered about what’s okay for a Christian to do, consider these questions.
Does it build me up spiritually? Does this thing that you want to do promote growth in your Christian character? Some things in life can tear you down because they tear you away from the people of God or dull your hunger for the Word of God.
Does it bring me under its power? Some Christians say they have the freedom to do a certain thing because they can handle it. They can control it. But does it bring them under its power? Can they go through a day without it? If not, then it isn’t freedom.
Do I have an uneasy conscience about it? There might be something that you feel uneasy about doing. It just doesn’t feel right. Romans 14:23 says, “For whatever is not from faith is sin” (NKJV). We’re all different. One believer may do a certain thing, but that very thing could harm you spiritually.
Could it cause someone to stumble? You may have the liberty to do something, such as go to this movie or watch that TV show. But if it bothers another believer, be sensitive to that. As Christians, we don’t live unto ourselves. We have an effect on others.
All too often people who are interested in following Jesus don’t want to let go of things that will slow them down. We need to count the cost.