Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bible Study: It is all very good except when it causes temptation

Romans 14:14
Genesis 1:31
IMAGE CREDIT: Closeups of grains of sand as unique as
individuals and our different strengths and temptations
Why do we insist that we know better than God? And why do we forget our individuality? Maybe something is "unclean" for me because I have a particular weakness and know that it will tempt me too much to sin. But that doesn't mean it's unclean in itself or that I should be critical of someone else using it. God created everything good. When He viewed His work He saw that "it was very good". Sin has warped our interactions with His creation and our ability to use everything good for good purposes. And, yes, His good creation was warped by man's sin. Yet when the essence of a thing is good, we should be careful about not misjudging it as bad.
I am a firm believer in avoiding the near occasion of sin, or of situations which I know ahead of time will place me in the way of temptation. Those sources of temptation are different for each individual. One may need to avoid chocolate; another alcohol. But I have to avoid confusion the distinction between sinful for everyone and a temptation for me that I should avoid. Part of our uniqueness includes the various things we enjoy or avoid, not because they are good or bad in themselves but because our individual fallen selves interact with them differently. As such we can love one another by accepting that others can enjoy something I avoid because they have no trouble relating to it well, while also not pressing others to indulge in something they have chosen to omit from their lives simply because it is a good thing.

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