"What are you doing today that you thought was sin 15 years ago?"
I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t triggered by one thing or one person, but instead, by many incidents of people talking or sharing on social media about participating in activities that they used to consider sin.
I’m been wondering:
“What changed? What made it wrong then and alright now? What made you change your mind?” Even more, I’ve been looking at my own life and asking: How does this question apply to me? Am I participating in activities that I once considered “off-limits”? Have I changed? Am I compromising?
Trust me when I say that I’m not trying to be judgmental—-I’ve personally experienced the pain of legalism—-of being called a “Jezebel” because I cut my hair or wore pants and earrings. No, I don’t want to return to that extreme. And yet, I’m honestly concerned. I worry that the pendulum is swinging too far in the other direction. Too often I find myself wondering “Is there anything that we consider to be sin anymore?” Since the Bible certainly hasn’t changed—-why did we? And yes, it is tempting to go on a rant….to list all of the areas where I believe Christians are crossing a line and indulging unashamedly in sin under the guise of “relevance” or “freedom in Christ”, but I’m not going to do that. (At least, not in this blog) Instead, I’m challenging all of us to do a little self-examination and ask ourselves “What am I doing today that I thought was sin 15 years ago?” Honestly think about it. Dare to be hard on yourself. Really analyze your life and ask “How have I changed?” Then ask “Why?” -Why am I embracing the culture instead of holiness? -Did I find a reason in the Bible to change my perspective or did I just lower my standards? -Who is influencing my choices and are they a good influence? -Is the excuse, “Well, everybody else is doing it” really a valid argument? -Are there areas where I need to reevaluate and perhaps abandon? -If I stay on my current path, what sin will I be tolerating 15 years from now? I challenge you to spend some time with the Holy Spirit genuinely answering these questions and then allow His influence to affect your future choices and behavior. This is something that Jamie and I have been doing lately: genuinely examining our lives and choosing to cling to Biblical principles. Why? Well, I think my feelings can be wrapped up best by a very, very old song by Degarmo & Key:
I don’t want to live my life in chains of sin; I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be a casual Christian I don’t want live, I don’t want to live a lukewarm life Because I want to light up the night with an everlasting life I don’t want to live a casual Christian life
Even though this song is super old the message is far from out of date—-in fact, it’s timeless. Because the truth is that the Great Commission is the same in 2019 as it was the day after the resurrection: We are called to be different. We are called to live for Jesus and show the world what it means to be a Christian. We are called to be a light in a dark place, not just blend in with the darkness hoping the world will like us and want to be with us. Holiness is still relevant.
The truth is that we have the hope—-we hold the directions to the road to freedom. Yet how can we help people find freedom if we are still bound in our chains of sin and compromise? The truth is that if we want to truly live our purpose and calling then we can’t be in a slow decline into compromise.
Instead, we need to have the testimony of my friend who recently shared, “When I look back on years gone by, I’m almost embarrassed by what I was tolerating in my life. Then I made a choice to make changes, and today my walk with Jesus and my life is stronger and healthier than ever.” This is what every one of us should be striving toward. Anything else is simply unacceptable. So what do you see when you look back 15 years? It’s a question worth asking.
To Learn More About Your Calling to Be Salt & Light Read: