As we face a new year, we face new opportunities and new challenges. As Christian men, you will confront multiple decisions. Some of those decision may not be black and white, or obvious as to what you should do. Although the Bible may not specifically speak to an issue you are facing in 2021, God has given us truths and principles to help us decide if something is right or wrong, from Him or from Satan, or from our own flesh demanding your way.
Paul dealt with moral dilemmas in the church. A dilemma is a predicament or problem that you must decide upon.
In Romans 14 and I Corinthians 6, we are given principles on how to decide moral dilemmas. In Paul’s day the dilemma was whether a Christian should eat meat that had been offered to idols. Today we are facing different dilemmas, but difficult, nonetheless.
I want to share with you 10 principles in the form of questions in making a godly decision:
- Are you Committed to Doing the Right Thing Once You Know What the Right Thing Is?
Are you willing to do the right thing once God tells you what it is? That may mean not going to certain places or hanging around certain people. It may mean standing alone. What you decide may not be popular and may be uncomfortable. Like Daniel, you must make up your mind that no matter what, you will do the right thing (Daniel 1:8). You make your choice that you will follow God’s will regardless of the outcome. Please God must become the magnificent obsession of your life.
- Does the Bible Speak Specifically About It?
Is there a specific Scripture dealing with what you are facing? If there is, as a Christian, you have your answer. It is not how you feel about it or other people’s opinions about it. To not follow that answer means disobedience. Listen to Joshua 1:7-8:
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
For the Christian, God’s Word is our final answer. The more you fill your mind with God’s Word, the more you give the Holy Spirit something to work with to show you what you need and don’t need to do. Your success depends solely upon doing what God says. For instance, God has clearly spoken on issues such as not dating or marrying non-Christians, paying your bills, not having sex prior to marriage, not having sex with someone other than your spouse, telling the truth, and not stealing.
- Is What You Are Facing Healthy or Unhealthy?
If something is unhealthy if it will hurt you physically, emotionally, mentally, or relationally, you should not do it.
I Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So, you must honor God with your body.
The body you are wearing belongs to Jesus Christ. If anything hurts that body, you must say “No.” Make sure what you are doing reflects your belief that your body belongs to God.
- Have You Prayed About It?
Have you asked God about what you are facing, giving Him the freedom to put on your heart His answer? Philippians 4:6-7: 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Sometimes that inner hesitancy, a feeling that something is not quite right. It may be an uneasiness. If you have peace in your heart about something, that is God’s green light. However, if you have a check in your spirit, don’t proceed. The Holy Spirit will either give you peace to proceed or doubt or un-peace. Listen to Him and follow His directions. Now, you can’t decide on feelings alone, but feelings are indicators once you have prayed about it.
- Is There Any Doubt in your Mind About It?
Romans 14:5; 23: In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable.
But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.
Here is a principle that is powerful: If in Doubt, Don’t. This will save you a lot of heartaches if you will follow this simple principle.
- Will It Damage Your Reputation as a Christian?
The world expects different living from those who are Christians, and they should. Wherever you go, whatever you do as a Christian, you represent Jesus Christ. You are carrying His name and reputation. You are making an impression about Him either positively or negatively. Keep away from places where people would say to you, “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Ask yourself, “Will it turn someone on or off to Christianity?” If so, don’t do it.
- Are You Considering How It Will Affect Others?
Romans 14:13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
Will it cause them to stumble spiritually? Will it offend other Christians? Will it cause those who aren’t Christians to wonder why someone who professes to be a Christian is doing such a thing? Will it make them think there is really no difference between those who are Christians and those who are not?
- If you Do It, Will It Drag You Down Spiritually?
Hebrews 12:2: We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
If it drags you down spiritually, God doesn’t intend for you to do it. Anything that lessens your love for the Lord, cools your fire for the Lord, causes you to not feel close to the Lord, takes you out of God’s Word, takes your eyes off of Jesus, should not even be entertained.
- Will It Bring Chains or Bondage?
Is it enslaving? Will it put you in bondage? Is it addicting? Will it put you or something else in control rather than God?
I Corinthians 6:12: You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.
Paul said he would not be enslaved by anything. He would not allow himself to even flirt with anything that could end up controlling him.
- Have You Sought Out the Advice of Godly People?
What does the godliest man you know say about it?
Proverbs 24:6b and in the abundance of counselors there is victory.
You will face many decisions in 2021. When you encounter a moral dilemma, use these ten questions to seek an answer. God will be faithful to show you what and what not to do.