Toxic?

April 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm (Uncategorized)

Most good parents give their children milk to help them grow to be strong and healthy.  You might think Roseann and I are bad parents, but we NEVER give our children milk.  Why?  Because for our kids it causes death.   Our oldest has a severe milk allergy.  So instead of her taking a refreshing drink that leaves a mustache, her airway closes.  Milk is toxic in our family, but maybe not yours.

As we strive to follow Jesus and live in relationship with Him, and allow Him to live through us, we are going to find things that are toxic in our lives!  Those things, in and of themselves, are not necessarily sins, and they may not necessarily be toxic to other Christ-followers, but for us, they spell trouble, with a capital T!

For example, we have no Biblical example or command which says that drinking alcohol is sin, in and of itself. In fact, we have examples repeatedly of Christ-followers (and perhaps Jesus Himself) having a little wine.  (I am not speaking to the clearly sinful state of drunkenness!) I think it would be safe to say, as a general rule, that having a drink is not sin!  BUT, for some people it is toxic to their relationship with Christ. I know a few alcoholics who, for their own sake, and their families sake, NEED to stay away from alcohol COMPLETELY!  Because it is toxic for their relationship with Jesus.

The point I am trying to get to is this: “Is this a sin?” is generally the wrong question to ask.  The better question to ask is this: “Does this allow Christ to be glorified in me?” or “Will this be toxic to my relationship with Him?”

More tomorrow.

So, what is toxic for you?  What do you do to avoid it?

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7 Comments

  1. billyjohnsonlive said,

    By the way, for anyone interested, this is officially my 100th post. wOOt!

  2. william fuller said,

    i completely agree.

  3. Cultural Awakening said,

    I absolutely agree man. I spoke on something similar recently and tried to convey the idea that Christ followers need to ask themselves, “What is God’s best for me?” Not necessarily just what they can get away with. Too often I think we do what you are talking about and we allow something like this to ruin our relationship with Christ as well as with others. It’s a great point and I totally agree.

  4. Legalism and Me…. « The Kid Preacher said,

    […] April 17, 2009 at 11:44 am (Uncategorized) Yesterday, I wrote a little about getting rid of elements that are toxic in your relationship with C… […]

  5. William Rude said,

    Romans 14 comes to mind when I read this post. So, I read it again. There is more to this chapter than meat or no meat. We also need to watch what is toxic in our relationships with one another. Our sin(s) might not be a sin(s) for other. Their sin(s) might not be sin(s) for me. How our opinions in such matters effect our relations with others and Christ is the issue.

    • billyjohnsonlive said,

      Bill~ Thanks for your reply. I love that you brought up the Romans 14 passage. I have always wondered how far to take the “don’t do it if it makes your brother sin” thought. I mean, if my neighbor sleeps in and the sound of my truck starting causes him to wake up and think mean thoughts about me, should I not go to work in the morning? Yes, that is a silly comparison, but I think the question is applicable: When is just plain HIS problem to deal with? There is a line and boundary somewhere, I struggle to find it. Thanks for your thoughts! –Billy

      • William Rude said,

        You brought up alcoholic beverages, so in keeping with that theme: One that obstains and believes it is a sin, are they the weaker or stronger brother? The Romans 14 context implies that the one that obstains is the weaker brother. Now would the one that obstains ever admit that it is only a sin for him and/or that he is the weaker brother? This is where toxic relationship comes to a head. Will the weaker brother ever lay down is pride or is that just for the strong brother to act upon? I believe that the spirit of the text requires us to yield, all the while knowing we are the stronger brother. This is difficult to swallow. Oh, you still have to go to work, and a new exhaust system might be the solution for the sleeping neighbor problem!

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