Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

I had a discussion the other day with another pastor and a young guy over the topic of alcohol (now let me preface this by saying that I believe the Bible allows for the Christian to drink on occasion. The Bible does not call moderate consumption of alcohol a sin). The conversation was much more about what we should and should not do as Christians versus clear sin or not sin. 

The Bible says that in this life, we will never be perfect. Our sanctification is a process in which every single day (hopefully) we are made more righteous by the Holy Spirit by the loving grace of God (2 Cor 3:18). While we hold onto that truth as hope for transformation from our sinful ways, there are things we just can’t perfect in this life. 

So why in the world would you continue to partake in things that are “borderline” which you can control?

I have many times told people (and God) that I want my life to be all about Jesus. LOVE JESUS, SERVE JESUS. In my heart that means that I am willing to give up everything for His glory. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for the One that did everything for me. There are many things in this world that are allowable but not good for me as a follower of Jesus so I just won’t do them. When I said yes to Jesus, my rights became His. Now even more so as a pastor I need to live in such a way that glorifies Jesus. Even when that means I don’t do something that is allowable.

A case can be made for many things which are allowable but not good. Things like drinking, smoking, and watching certain movies or television programs. What do you think? Am I going too far? Could we pick apart our entire lives determining what’s good and what’s not? Maybe that’s exactly what Jesus wants!

About Ryan Miller

I am a sinner saved by the blood of Jesus, living to glorify Him all day every day. I am a Pastor at For His Glory Community Church in Fullerton, California . Alongside me at all times is my amazing wife Michelle and my daughters, Alexis and Chloe. View all posts by Ryan Miller

2 responses to “Unstained

  • Mitchell Norton

    I do not think you are going too far. At some point in our walk with the Lord we begin to view everyday life differently. Life becomes more about worshipping God and serving others. We start to enjoy our quiet time with God instead of scheduling our Bible reading or prayer (but it does often begin with forming habits). We begin to love others instead of tolerate them. And I believe we start filtering our lives to include more things that glorifies God and less that we would consider trivial.

    The key here, is not judging those who are not where you are when it comes to matters that are not sinful. As an example; one point in my life I realized that God was calling me to a work and he was convicting me of spending my time doing something else. The other activity was not sinful, but if it kept me from God’s will it very well have been considered rebellion. I followed what I believed to be God’s lead, but I never condemed anyone for continuing in that trivial pursuit.

    Paul said that all things are permissible, but not all things are profitable.

  • Dana

    I completely agree with you. As an adult I have “rights”. But, is exercising those “rights” setting my children up for trouble? Or anyone else, for that matter? We must walk daily asking God for His Spirit of discernment & wisdom, to put others before ourselves and have the love of Christ to be content to “choose not to” partake of something, verses feeling like “we can’t” or “we shouldn’t”, for the good of God’s name. I feel i have a responsibilty to protect His reputation. Personal convictions with regards to righteous living & habits blesses (and convicts) others. Why would we want to display any other behavior? As we submit to the “better”, instead of settling in the “permissible”, God’s Spirit blesses us to bear much fruit. With God’s grace, others will see us as, in some peculiar way, “different” and content! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! God bless!

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