Why do Christians make so many excuses to each other? Why must we constantly justify our questionable decisions? Why do we try to explain away what is wrong with what we’re doing?
Deep down inside, we know that watching that movie isn’t pleasing to God. We know that the purpose for wearing that outfit is to get a little more attention. We know that buying that car is foolish. But we continue to put all of our energy into lying to ourselves and desperately explaining these things away.
Just because the Bible doesn’t say that watching that particular movie, wearing that exact outfit, or spending that allotted amount of money on that car is explicitly wrong, the Bible does offer some principles to guide these decisions. We just prefer to ignore these principles because the Bible does not say: “Thou shalt not watch ____. Thou shalt not buy ____. Thou shalt not wear ____.”
The Bible says we need to FLEE from sin, not cuddle up to it as close as we possibly can. When I think of “flee” I think of being chased by a rabid bear. I don’t know about you, but if I see a rabid bear anytime soon, I will run as fast as possible, not go and give it a hug.
John Piper says (paraphrased): “Don’t just ask ‘what’s wrong with it?’; ask ‘does it help me run?’” *
I recently read a book called The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley**. Stanley talks a lot about how Christians should not cuddle with sin. Instead, he says that we should set ridiculous boundaries for ourselves- far, far away from the line of sin. His example is that, in order to flee from the sin of adultery, he refuses to be alone in a car with any non-family-member that is a woman. EVER. Is it a sin for a married man to be in a car with a woman other than his wife? Absolutely not. But Pastor Stanley is taking drastic measures to stay as far as possible from sin as he can. He is asking, as John Piper calls it, “the maximum righteousness question.”
It is time to stop living at what my Bible prof calls “the lowest common denominator.” God deserves and requires more than that. He wants to control EVERY avenue of our lives. He wants us to flee from sin because He paid for our punishment in His own blood.
What ridiculous measures will you take today to flee from sin and live each moment at maximum righteousness?