'Maybe I went too far, I shouldn’t have said that, I guess I may have overreacted'. If you have never said this, thought this, or something like it, my guess is that it just hasn’t happened as yet.
So how far really is too far? It probably was okay with one glass of your favourite cocktail but did you go too far after the third glass? Maybe a peck on the cheek with your crush was okay but then how far really is too far? Listening to that artiste's music is probably okay but can I go to the concert? The list of questions is endless, often the answer is not straightforward and will probably change from person to person.
I think as Christians the question of how far is too far is a little easier for us as the Bible is our guide and source of truth although it does not explicitly cover every circumstance that you will encounter.
The liberating gospel of Jesus Christ and the leading of our lives by the Holy Spirit will answer those personal questions of how far is too far.
I was plunged into this pondering as I listened to an oldie from one of my then favourite artists, Jah Cure. I contemplated just how much my life has changed following my decision to mainly listen to gospel music after I gave my life to Christ. Some may automatically perceive such a choice as one that makes them more righteous, or as a reason to condemn those who continue to do so, but that is incorrect. It was a ‘Krystal’ decision based on the prompting and direction of the Holy Spirit. If a young Christian asks me, what type of music should they listen to, though I can give a list of bible-based considerations to prefer wholesome, uplifting music, the most important would be to listen to what the Holy Spirit directs, as I did.
What is good and okay for one person may not be good and okay for another. Legalism is now out of the window post-Christ, and the unique direction for each of us is chartered by the Holy Spirit. This was the intention and design of the Lord. It is for this reason, as far back as the old testament prophets, the Lord said to Jeremiah, “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Hebrews 10:16 NLT
The Bible is clear on several things, such as do not murder or lie, and when we encourage persons to rely on the Holy Spirit it does not invalidate those directives, but rather it upholds them because the Spirit and God are one and will never be contrary to each other. Start with the Bible to get a sense of the principles concerning a decision, even if the exact scenario is not in the Bible, but don't abandon the revelation that comes from a relationship in preference for rote regulations.
What I am encouraging is for persons to cultivate and develop their relationship with the Holy Spirit so that they do not always need to rush to the pages of the Bible to know what they should and should not do in every situation, it will be right in their hearts as the Holy Spirit prompts.
In my early Christian walk, I remember wondering what type of attire was church appropriate or what manner of socializing was now okay. I decided that I would not be bound by the opinions of others that were subjective and as diverse as the creatures of the sea. That decision in itself was a prompting of the Holy Spirit which was corroborated by the Bible verse in 2 Corinthian 3:17 which says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” NKJV. This liberty is not as one without a master and accountability, but it is having the liberty to be who God called YOU to be, in the way He asked YOU.
Since the Lord has called us to do different things in different sects, why would we all need to look the same, act the same, or speak the same? There can be UNIQUENESS in UNITY.
My calling is uniquely mine and so is yours. What you listen to, where you go and the decisions you make are directed as a result of that intimate and unique relationship with God through His Spirit. As you grow in grace, you continue to experience the scripture verse which says “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 KJV
Bondage is a tool of the devil. Liberty is a free gift from Christ.
We were once in bondage to sin, but now we have liberty in Christ to choose, in a way that the Lord directs. You do not have any obligation to explain your calling or your decisions to anyone, especially to those who've chosen a path that is different from yours. Your obligation is to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
Your relationship with the Holy Spirit should be so close and intimate that right as you are about to tell someone off, you should hear Him say, ‘daughter, don’t go down that path!’. Even if you have already made it over to that social gathering, you can obey that unease the Holy Spirit put in you and ask to be excused. Likewise, a pants or skirt above my knees is no bother to me neither is belting out some Whitney Houston classics, because condemnation and bondage are not a part of the Jesus package.
That evening as I enjoyed the traffic-free commute to my destination, I sang along to the Jah Cure hit. I have lived in the liberty which Christ bought for me, whilst being sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit to know how much is enough.
Whenever you have to ask yourself how much is too much or how far is too far, don’t ask "What Would Jesus Do", ask the Holy Spirit What Should I Do?
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.
Follow me on IG @imani_blog2020
and FB @imaniinspirational