Upholding Christian Standards In A Non-Christian Society (ATP)
The world normalizes things all the time. I understand the obvious stuff that I should avoid but what about other areas for example at work when I sometimes have to serve alcohol, am I causing people to sin, am I sinning by doing that? Or all the “CBD SOLD HERE” signs you see all over the place, how should I view things like that?
Immediately 2 Thessalonians 3:10 comes to mind, “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” We need to understand that we live in this world and must operate to a large degree according to the principles of this world. What I mean by this is that just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we get a money tree in our backyards and are exempt from having to work like the rest of the world does. Our jobs are avenues that the Lord uses to bring provision into our lives.
This being said, it is more important above anything else that we follow our spirits and the voice of our conscience in any situation in life, even in our jobs. Look at what the Apostle Paul relayed in 2 Corinthians 1:12, “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God…” This we can be proud to say, that we have lived a life in which we have conducted ourselves in godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom. We should have a testimony of upholding our moral conscience, and upholding the principles of the Word with purity in all areas of our lives, not just on Sunday morning.
Another scripture that comes to my heart is 1 Corinthians 10:31, “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” In this life we should always make sure that whatever we do we are doing it with a clear conscience, living to bring glory to the Lord. If you’re working in a situation that is ungodly, the inward witness will let you know it’s time to leave. You’ve got to be willing to follow the Holy Spirit and the Word of God above a paycheck.
Now, we also know this, that Proverbs 13:22, “…the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.” We know people personally who are wonderful Christians, increasing the kingdom of God, blessed with provision to further the gospel and their income comes primarily from the wine industry. Now, these people don’t actually produce wine, rather juice, but most of their customers buy their juice to produce wine. Is it up to them what people do with the juice their grapes produce? The Lord has blessed them abundantly even knowing these things. The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the children of God! Another minister we know went away to Bible college and needed to get a part time job. If you don’t work, you don’t eat. He was hired at a gas station working behind the counter. During his shift he was able to read the Bible and study his notes and it was a real blessing to his life, but customers would come in and buy beer and cigarettes. Did he say, “I can’t sell that to you because I’m a Christian in Bible school and I don’t agree with your choices?” No! He did his job, and he did so in good conscience because he didn’t cause those people to sin. They were going to partake of those things regardless of who was behind the counter.
Now, let’s remember, we must always follow our conscience. There are a couple of things we should also understand. Let’s look at the beginning and end of Romans 1:28-32, “…as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” We must be careful not to approve or accept sin, even saying, “I can’t control what they do.” Our hearts should never be callous to the evils of sin. We never want to grow used to sin and should guard against that. For instance, there’s a difference between being a waiter delivering a glass of wine or a gas station attendant who needs to cash out somebody with a 6-pack, and a bartender making mixed drinks and setting up shots all night, every night, while witnessing debauchery and drunkenness. There’s a difference between selling tickets to a movie theater with rated R movies and working the door of a strip club. There are simply some environments that are not fitting for a child of God.
Look at Matthew 12:43-45, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first..” Something else to keep in mind is whether or not our job will cause us to stumble. If you’ve been someone with a drug addiction it’s not a good idea to work in a place where drugs, or even CBD is sold. (And in regards to this CBD craze, I always look at it this way: if the world is really into it, if it’s popular in society, I need to question why. I haven’t done extensive research but I do know that it’s a red flag when the world is really gung-ho about something.) The devil makes sure there’s temptation to fall back into the same sins. If you’ve had an alcohol problem, you probably shouldn’t be working in an environment where alcohol is sold or served. If you’ve had a problem with gambling, you probably shouldn’t be working at a casino. We’ve got to guard our lives from error and we should all know our areas of weakness as to not allow the devil an open door to come back into our lives and wreak havoc.
To close, above all, stay fortified in the Word, continue seeking Him, be open to His direction, and He will lead you into the best jobs. He’ll keep you safe. He’ll bring promotion. He’s got a good plan for your life. So if you remember these things and endeavor to let Him guide you into all truth, you’ll know where to go and what to do every single time.