It is odd how little everyday decisions can turn into great big moral dilemmas for Christians. Sometimes we are not sure what kind of food is right for us to eat, what kind of movies we should watch, what kind of beverages are acceptable. The Bible does not contain strict rules that tell us exactly how we should behave in each situation. But it does give us general guidelines:
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)
What Paul is saying here is that whatever you do must be done for the glory of God with a good conscience. It must be done out of genuine love for others. We must avoid causing trouble for other Christians through our lifestyle choices. There are two basic ways in which cantankerous Christians can use their lifestyle choices to bring dishonor to God.
One way is by doing whatever they want. Some Christians do not honestly care about other peoples opinions or feelings, and flaunt their Christian liberty. They make a point, for instance, to drink alcohol around other Christians who don’t believe in drinking alcohol. They claim that they are glorifying God by taking a stand for their right to drink in these situations, but they are not. They are simply selfishly bringing attention to themselves and causing trouble. They are not simply enjoying a good beverage that God created; they are enjoying the causing a scene and creating drama.
But on the other hand, some Christians with strict standards love to cause scenes too. There is nothing wrong in having strict standards for one’s self, as long as those standards do not come from an attitude of self-righteousness and legalism. A Christian can truly honor God by abstaining from alcohol, refraining from work on Sunday, and not watching any television. But when they begin to insist that all other Christians follow these same rules, then they begin to cause problems. It is especially wrong for them to investigate and spy into every aspect of other Christians lives just so that they can find something to criticize them about.
Both approaches are wrong. Christians need to do their honest best in deciding which lifestyles are best for them, and to try to be understanding of other Christians who come to different conclusions. The only way that we can truly honor God through our lifestyle decisions is if we show genuine love and care for other Christians, and are not interested in simply harassing them from a spirit of self-righteousness. We must put other people’s interests above our own, and try to honestly see things from their point of view.