Troublesome Topic: The Wrong Direction

Lesson 8 of 8

In our discussion of clean and unclean things in the Former Covenant, I said that we need to be vigilant of things that take us the wrong direction, even if they are not sin.

Here are some examples of things in a modern Christian’s life that we should avoid, even though they may not be sinful.

1. TV shows, movies, You tube videos, songs, and any other form of media content that brings the influence of the world instead of God’s influence into our minds.

Obviously, some of the content in those forms of media is indeed sinful and should never enter our eyes or ears. Many believers willing allow that kind of stuff into their minds, and then they wonder why their relationship with God is anemic.

However, what I am talking about here are the more subtle negative influences. These would be things that are not sinful themselves, but they will eventually take us into sin. Subtle forms of those things mentioned above would fit in this category. Much of the clothing worn by women in the shows, movies and videos of our modern era are tight-fitting, suggestive, and revealing to some degree. Depending on the spiritual condition of a man’s mind, these may are may not lead him to think sinful thoughts, but this is dangerous territory and can lead him in the wrong direction. It is also dangerous for the females that view it because it makes them think such style of dress is normal and desirable. All of this is wrong even if it doesn’t seem wrong to you.

Therefore, as followers of Jesus we should be very careful to never watch something if there is a chance that it includes sexually stimulating images (whether true nudity or not), violence, language that does not honor God or that belittles other people, and behavior that is a bad example to others. It may be sinful to imbibe such content, or it may simply take us in the wrong direction. Either way, it should be avoided.

2.  Self-centeredness is a sin, but there are some subtle aspects of satisfying self which are so mild that they disguise themselves as normal and even beneficial. Our desire to be entertained can take us to many places, most of which are not good. Many people think, “I work hard, and when I get home, I deserve to relax a while.” That sounds fine so far, but how do they relax? They open their minds to a huge array of entertaining content which is full of things that take us away from God. Any focus on self will take us away from God.

3. Another example is the world’s messages or thinking process, as well as attitudes that are twisted. Anything that communicates the world’s way of thinking, its priorities, and its way of interpreting what is going on in our world, will likely lead us away from God, either quickly or slowly. Some of these messages, such as information about financial issues, sound good, true, and totally innocuous. But we need to evaluate everything and look for components within it that are contrary to God’s way of thinking. Regarding financial issues, I will ask you about the world’s perspective on debt. In the end, has the world’s promotion of the use of debt been a good thing or a bad thing? Has it helped people learn to act responsibly? Has it given many people greater freedom or has it weighed people down with greater burdens? Has the promotion of debt made people less self-centered or more self-centered?

4. I could also mention the world’s thinking about marriage, sexuality, disciplining children, educating children, and other family issues. Some of these things are not sinful ideas, but they take us in the wrong direction (of course some things in these categories are indeed sinful).

5. Our use of time and energy can also take us in the wrong direction. We need to choose the best rather than the good. If a Christian is never seeking the very best, and never investing his time in the best things, he will be a weak, anemic Christian. This usually makes him susceptible to temptation. God calls us to pursue Him with everything we are and have. Using our time and energy for things that are less than the best is actually going the wrong direction, in a subtle way.

These examples have been given to demonstrate that if a person says, “I can do it if the Bible doesn’t prohibit it,” or “If it is not a sin, I can do it” he is asking for trouble, flirting with danger and will likely be moving away from God rather than toward God.

Therefore, it does not matter where we think the line should be drawn between sinful and not sinful, we should stay away from anything that takes us away from God.

It turns out that when God taught His people to watch out for things in life that should be “isolated,” He knew exactly what He was doing. Go figure!

The next lesson in the Full and Midsize series on Covenants is: Jesus is the Only True Sacrifice