it is in our nature to see how much we can get away with. when trying to lose weight, rather than seeing how healthy we can be, we see how much we can still get away with eating. when it comes to our budget, it is usually “how much can i spend” rather than “how much can i save”.

when we look at our television, movie, and internet diet, we may be more tempted to ask “how violent is too violent” or “how much bad language is too much” or “how much of a ‘love scene’ is too much?”.

when asked my opinion on these and other matters, i always remind the person that it is not my role to place a new law on anyone shoulder’s and say one way or the other. though there are times when something may be clearly sinful and should be avoided, other times the line may not be as clear to us. some rated “R” movies have no sex, no nudity, no more violence and language than your average televison show, but the subject matter is weighty. is it o.k. to watch? we desparetely want someone to tell us if it is or isnt because we do not want to be in sin or cause someone else to stumble.

often times we are simply asking the wrong question. rather than “how much can i get away with before i feel/am guilty of sin” maybe our question should be “how will this draw me closer or push me away from christ and the holiness i am called to?

 i often struggle with this myself. i sway back and forth from pretty legalistic tendencies to antinomian attitudes. practicing discernment is something all christians should actively be pursuing. this quote from charles spurgeon is a good reminder of how asking the right question when making decisions of discernment is the first step in living an obedient life.

“Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong;
rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”
-Charles Spurgeon