Stay Off the Fence…Get Less Splinters
No person striving to serve Jesus as their Master believes that Christians can engage in what God considers sinful behavior. We understand that God won’t tolerate His children lying, stealing, slandering, becoming intoxicated with alcohol, engaging in sexual immorality, and numerous other activities that oppose God’s nature. We know it’s these types of activities that killed us spiritually in the first place (cf. Eph. 2:1-3). Although we’re not perfect, and we slip up in sin from time to time, as Christians we repent and keep striving to imitate Christ (cf. Eph. 5:1).
Even though we understand that we must purge the personal sin from our lives, what are we to do about all the sin surrounding us from day to day? The reality is that we as Christians still live in a world filled with godless behavior. Is God satisfied with us simply sitting on the fence as non-participants? Here’s what God has to say about fence-sitting:
“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.” (Ephesians 5:11–12)
Here we learn that not only does God command us to abstain from sinful activities, but He also requires us to “expose” them for what they really are. God considers it “disgraceful” for a Christian to even talk about other people’s sins without shedding light on how God views it.
So what might “exposing sin” look like? Well the most obvious form would be evangelism. Christians in a loving, patient, and non-quarrelsome manner have the responsibility of showing people the reality of their lost spiritual state, and the promise of eternal life in Christ. But before we chalk this verse up as simply talking about doing personal Bible studies, let’s explore some other common issues that Christians face on a daily basis.
- If I’m jamming out to a song that glorifies sexual activity outside of marriage…am I exposing it for the sin that it is?
- If I’m recommending a movie to someone and I have to say, “now it does have some foul language in it…” am I exposing it for the sin that it is?
- If someone in my congregation starts telling me some juicy details about brother/sister so-and-so [i.e. gossiping] and I just listen silently without contributing any new information…am I exposing it for the sin that it is?
- If I laugh at a dirty joke one of my co-workers tells…am I exposing it for the sin that it is?
As Christians we not only need to monitor our personal conduct, but we must carefully filter what we allow into our lives through our entertainment choices, friendships, and daily conversations. God doesn’t want us to sit on the fence in regards to the sin surrounding us. He’s given us a tough job, but if we really care about the immoral direction our society is heading we must be consistent in standing up for righteousness in all areas of life.