One way in which women are connecting more and more is by forming book clubs. This sounds like a fairly innocuous activity – read a book and discuss it among friends. But what would you do if your friends wanted to read 50 Shades of Grey for next month’s discussion? Assuming this possibility pricks your conscience at least a little, you’re in a pickle. In the interest of the relationships, do you go along with the club’s pick and then use the discussion to let your light shine? Do you take a moral high road and urge the members to reconsider? Do you avoid the conflict and disappear for this month?
Satan is really adept at taking seemingly harmless circumstances and twisting them into the most complex dilemmas. It’s fairly easy to recognize when you’re in one of these – you immediately start to feel uncomfortable and at a loss as to how to proceed. What’s not so easy is to recognize Satan’s next strategy to trip you up – that voice in your head that sounds reasonable and proposes compromise. In fact, he’s the master of creating shades of grey. And yet the truth, the Word of God, indicates in a number of ways that there really is no moral grey – everything, in fact, is either black or white. Romans 14:23 (ABPE) says, “Everything that is not from faith is sin.” Colorfully speaking, if it ain’t white, it ain’t right!
But reading a book? Is that really a moral decision? Does God really care about such seemingly insignificant choices like what we do with our leisure time? Actually, it’s more involved than that! God’s Word instructs us to “take every thought captive.” That’s the atomic level of morality, folks. Another favorite scripture to apply to leisure choices is Psalm 101 (NLT): “I will be careful to lead a blameless life… I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar… I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil… I will search for faithful people to be my companions” (v.2, 3, 4, 6).
And on that last point about companions… If all of your friends are into reading 50 Shades of Grey, it might be time to find some new friends.
If you’re reading an article on XXXChurch website, perhaps sexuality and sensuality are areas of particular temptation. From the perspective of a reformed player, I will say that there’s nothing harmless about reading erotic literature. It’s kind of like waving a shot glass full of Jim Beam in front of an alcoholic. Haven’t we struggled enough to restore to our lives the degree of purity that we now enjoy? Why would we let ourselves think about ways to indulge evil desires, when we should be snuggling up this winter in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 13:14)?
I Cor. 10:31 says, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Package that with the exclusivity of “everything not from faith is sin” and there’s no spectrum of righteousness in which any shade of grey fits.
Any shade of grey contains a little black.