In today’s Fall Back Into Faith, we are going to explore three things we should consider when we’re having “fun.” Fun encompasses everything from who you spend time with to what you do. I believe the Bible has much wiser, and less hypocritical, words on these three considerations than I could impart, so the bulk of this post is quoting what God says. A quick shout out to our winners from yesterday’s give-away: Kathy Connelly & Stella Pulman. You guys are going to love One Thousand Gifts!
As I mentioned in our first installment on Fun, God loves for you to enjoy yourself. But to be able to enjoy the best parts of life to their fullest, we must be ever mindful of the fact that boundaries exist, and they exist to keep us on track. I have to tell you, I struggle with each of these three things, and these verses reminded me to be mindful of maintaining positive relationships, behaving so as to reflect Christ, and letting God keep me from foolish actions that only pull others away from growing, or finding, faith. Here are three questions I try to ask myself:
1. Are you spending time with someone who is leading you to act consistent with or contrary to how God would have you act?
Proverbs 27 - Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
II Corinthians 1 – Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.
I John 2 – Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
2. Are you behaving in a way that people can tell you are a believer?
John 15 – If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
3 John - It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.
Proverbs 15 – Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.
I Peter 2 – Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Romans 12 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
II Peter 1 – His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
3. Are your actions causing others to stumble in their walk of faith?
Jude – To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord…
Matthew 18 – “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”
I Corinthians 8 - Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
I Corinthians 10 - So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.