This is a guest post by Adam Durnham. If you are curious about publishing a guest post, please review the guest post guidelines. Then contact me if you can work within those guidelines and would like to submit a post.
As Christians, we are called to fish for men. This means going out of our comfort zones in order to save the lost. But many of us become confused about the boundaries of blending in and actually stick out and become stumbling blocks. If you are someone who is seeking clarity, read to know more.
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, one of His final instructions included “making disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Although modern-day Christian may not walk the Earth and proclaim the Gospel on the streets, we are still called to live our lives in holy ways and to share the Good News with our spheres of influence.
Fishing for men: Is there a gray area?
“Fishing for men” definitely requires balance. When Paul noted that he became a Jew for the Jews and acted under the law (1 Corinthians 9:20-22), it was clear that as Christians, we sometimes need to blend in to win people over.
Many of us become confused with the principle of blending in.
When I was a new Christian and a college student at a large university, I would often find myself in gray areas. I called them gray areas because there I was, professing my newfound faith, but also hanging out with my friends like nothing had changed. My alcoholism took over because I thought I had control and could keep drinking like I had before. I eventually went into a Christian rehab and decided to take things seriously.
As I became older, I realized that gray areas are not really gray. We cannot say that we are winning people over if we clearly know that we are becoming stumbling blocks.
Winning people or becoming a stumbling block
I could have used a guide about living my faith. So, I have created one. Here are some questions you may ask yourself. They may help you determine if your actions may win people for Christ or you are just acting as a stumbling block:
Is it against the law?
To ask if what you are doing is fit for winning people for God, ask if it is a lawful act. This does not mean the context of law in the Bible, but rather the everyday law that all citizens of a state or a country must follow. After all, God tells us to be responsible citizens by submitting to the governing authorities: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1).
Is it moral?
Having morals is quite different from being lawful. There are things that are passable in terms of the law, but they may not be acceptable in the eyes of others. As Christians, we ought to know that people’s eyes are on us. We represent Christ, and our actions should be blameless before others: “That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
Is it aligned with God?
The highest tier of assessing your actions is knowing that it aligns with God. God manifests Himself through His Word (the Bible), the Holy Spirit, and through the confirmation of godly men and women. It is wise to seek what God says on a specific topic, to listen to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, and to listen to the advice of Christian elders.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).
Do not stumble by winning people
Maybe the key takeaway is that it is good to “blend in” and reach out to others, but you must set holy boundaries that are acceptable in the law, in morality, but most important, in the eyes of God. Do not stumble by bending over backwards to please people and forgetting what is truly important. Instead, set yourself apart as holy yet approachable to those who are lost.