1 Corinthians 10:31
Quite a few years ago, I had a thought that has taken hours and almost 15 years of study and meditation. Someone confronted me about some new music to which I was listening (Gaither Vocal Band if you must ask). They laid out a list of rules drawn from their application of a variety of verses. I believed then and continue to believe that their application of biblical principles was seriously flawed. God brought 1 Corinthians 10:31 to mind as I meditated on the whole conversation. I believe this verse embodies the believer’s responsibility in every situation. I memorized this verse in elementary school, but it became a quest for me.
My issue was that if I took my friend’s reasoning and applied it to other situations, I be required to retire from the world (sometimes a dreamy thought) and adopt monastic life. Jesus requires us to be both salt and light, though. We must be in routine contact with our world, routinely interacting with unbelievers. My quest became to develop a philosophy of entertainment. The initial issue on which I focused became basketball. Living in a small town, High School sports were a big deal. Basketball comes at a down time for an agricultural community, so I focused on it.
This verse drove me to think more intentionally. Jerry Bridges (Respectable Sins) states that any time we are not intentionally working to bring glory to God, we commit the sin of godlessness. Not that we shake our fist in God’s face, rather we live as if God did not exist. Rather than simply being neutral, committing the sin of godlessness, Paul expects us to live to positively advertise who He is. What does it look like if we do everything so that God gets advertised in a positive light? This took me several years to work through. Enjoy the trip!