permissible, but not beneficial: learning from the past

Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6.12 NIV

Most things in this life are allowed. God gave us free will. We have the will to choose and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

Many things in this life are not sinful in and of themselves: having a glass of wine, dancing, reading a novel, watching a movie, having one brownie, building relationships…this list could go on.

Everything is permissible…

We can do anything. But does that mean we should?

We could have that glass of wine, but for some, another follows. And another.

We could go out dancing, but a few of us end up “twerking” away at the local club.

We enjoy reading and pick up that trashy romance novel the babysitter brought over. Before you know it, you’ve finished the novel and are hungry for more.

When given the choice between Disney’s Tangled and Bridesmaids, which movie would you choose? The healthier option I hope. Let me rephrase it this way: if you had to choose between watching a movie or spending time in God’s Word on a Friday evening, which would you choose? Sadly, I’ve found myself choosing the former more often than not.

But not everything is beneficial.

Is it not more beneficial to drink water instead of wine?

David danced before the Lord. People dance at weddings. I would love to learn how to do the waltz someday. But does that mean I should go out to the local club and get my groove on with a man I don’t know; a man who is not my husband or boyfriend? No. I shouldn’t. And I don’t, by choice. I dance within the comforts of my apartment to worship tunes and maybe a little Michael Buble sprinkled in, and usually with the blinds drawn. And more often than not, my heart is the only thing dancing.

Is it beneficial to read Christian romance novels or watch a faith-based movie? Sure. But, if we choose to read one book after another or watch one film or Christian program after another and in the process neglect our own personal time with God or actually taking care of our physical needs, where is the benefit in that?

Can I be honest with you a moment? I was one of those teenagers who allowed herself to get sucked into reading those trashy romance novels – or mainstream chick-lit, as they’re called. I picked my first one up when I was 14. One wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I actually liked feeling what those novellas made me feel. I have an active imagination – creative types usually do. Those novels affected me in ways I didn’t think any human being could. Being boyfriend-less, geeky and awkward, I had to get my fix somewhere and that was where I found it. One book after another.

Was that beneficial? Definitely not.

Those books led to my believing in a warped view of how male-female relationships worked and to heartache.

Fortunately, God saved me. It was during a sermon at the church I attended while I was away at college and the love my pastor had for his congregation that opened my eyes to that sin.  God’s Spirit had plenty to do with it, too. I felt convicted for the first time and knew I needed to make a change; to repent and move away from that habit.

With God’s help, I was able to move past that and now enjoy reading other forms of literature, especially works with a Christian message like Made to Crave and immersing myself in His Word.

And although I still struggle with some of those warped views on relationships and having had my eyes opened to just how much this last year, I’m still able to rise from the ashes and learn from those moments in my life.

Was it beneficial to pursue that relationship?

If my eyes had been opened prior to taking those steps leading into it, I would have realized that it wasn’t.

But…

God, in his amazing goodness, turned what would not have benefited me in the long run into a period of my life that was of a great benefit. Without going through that, I would not have realized how deep my need, my craving, for him ran. I wouldn’t have came to the conclusion and realization of what I deserve; of what God says I deserve. I wouldn’t have put the idea of dating back on the shelf and chosen instead to wait on his timing. I wouldn’t have come to the realization that even if my Ever After doesn’t come in this lifetime that I’ll be okay. I have one with him for all of eternity.

I may still be combing through what I’ve learned; the list above is just skimming the surface.

Isn’t that beautiful?

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2 thoughts on “permissible, but not beneficial: learning from the past

  1. Kris Czerniawski Danko January 25, 2014 at 12:22 PM Reply

    Love this and how you equate the permissible and beneficial to moderation. A little of things is good, too much of anything is not. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

    Kris Danko (OBS Blog Hop Team)

  2. Caryn February 19, 2014 at 7:08 PM Reply

    What’s up, I check your blog regularly. Your story-telling style is witty,
    keep up the good work!

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