Thanks very much. And please don't forget this truth: I love you and I don’t want anything to dim the light that’s shining in and through you.
Joffre Swait, Victor Mill, Greer's Station, 1st Day of Epiphany, Last Day of Christmas, Fifth Day of Two-Faced Janus, 2013
A Caution For Every Christian That Rejoices In God's Gifts
by Nathan Rouse and Joffre Swait
Something disturbing has crept into the american church and it’s not pretty.
Many Christians have allowed themselves to take rejoicing in God's gifts lightly.
Now before you start throwing the legalistic stones at me, let me first make the following clear:
I don’t believe rejoicing in God's gifts is a sin.
Of course, abusing God's gifts is. God's gifts are some of the biggest killers in our society, and as always they continue to take a destructive toll on marriages and families. Take food and sex, for instance.
But, there’s another problem:
The often overlooked sin that is rearing its ugly head are Christians displaying their love and enjoyment of God's gifts to those around them in public and on social media, when there are many around them that struggle with abusing God's gifts.
The Apostle Paul addressed a similar situation when dealing with those in the church arguing over whether they could eat meat sacrificed to idols. Paul declared that even though they had the freedom to eat meat sacrificed to idols, they should love those that struggled with this practice enough to not do it front of them.
1 Cor. 8:9-13
But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
We sin against other Christians and “wound their conscience” (as well as sin against Christ) when we openly act in a way that would cause them to stumble.
Now, before you say you only do this with others that are like-minded or with your spouse, let me ask the following questions:
Do you highlight or joke about your rejoicing in God's gifts in person or on social media (posting pictures of your scripturally God-blessed and God-commanded forms of enjoyment)?
Do you rejoice in God's gifts in public when there’s a good chance you might meet someone struggling with God?
Like it or not, people hold Christians to a higher standard (as they should). Do you love God's gifts so much that you’re willing to let your witness be tarnished? Do you love your “freedom” so much that you could care less how it affects another brother or sister?
This isn’t about rules being broken. This is about loving our brother and sister enough to limit our freedom in Christ so as to not show them how grateful we are for being invited to the Son's wedding feast.
Would you consider this truth?
I love you and I don’t want anything to dim the light that’s shining in and through you.
To other readers of this blog: one guess what God-given thing Mr. Rouse wants you to hide away like so much pornography.