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How can I know what is right and wrong?


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What is God's will for your life? Many desire to do God's will, but struggle because they don't know what God's will is. The following are some principles from God's Word that will help you to discern what God's will is for you.

  1. Is it helpful?

    The first part of 1 Corinthians 6:12 (NASV) tells us “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable (helpful)…” Is it helpful to me? Will this help me to become a better Christian, a better friend, a better brother or sister?

    The second guideline for knowing right from wrong also comes from this passage.

  2. Will I be mastered by this?

    1 Corinthians 6:12 goes to say, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable (helpful). All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” Will I be enslaved by this? Think of some things that are addicting; for example… cigarettes, alcohol, TV, pornography, and so on.

  3. Will it cause someone else to stumble?

    1 Corinthians 8:7-13 gives the third guideline for knowing right form wrong. In this passage, the principle is not to do things that will cause someone else to stumble. The apostle Paul had a strong faith; he knew there was only one God. He knew God had given him freedom to eat certain meats, but if it made others fall, he would not eat the meat.

    I heard a friend once tell this amazing story:

    “I remember so clearly the first time I had a drink of beer after being a Christian. I was 25 years old and working with high schools. I had not had a drink for four years and late one afternoon my roommate, who was also my director with the church group I was working with, had a quart of beer and offered me some. I had just come in from a four mile run and was very thirsty. I took a drink from the bottle of beer, and it tasted terrible. I quickly got some water and tried to get the taste our of my mouth. On Monday, I was at the high school for lunch. A couple of students who were in my group came up and told me of one of our friends who had gotten really drunk the past weekend. They went on to tell me that this guy came to my house on Thursday and was about to knock on my door when he looked in and saw me with a bottle of beer in my hand.

    The first time I had one small drink (that tasted icky) in four years and I made this student stumble. What a good lesson for me! Even though the government says I am old enough to drink in moderation, I will not, because it can and has caused my brother to stumble.”

    As a student, you are probably not even old enough to drink legally, but can you think of any other situations where you could make someone stumble spiritually?

  4. Right and wrong.Does it glorify God?

    1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Can this activity glorify God in some way?

More information

  • How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer
  • sin
  • righteousness
  • goodness
  • holiness
  • godliness
  • How can I deal with temptations? Answer
  • Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
  • How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
  • What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
  • What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer
  • The Ten Commandments
  • Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
  • Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer
  • What is “the unpardonable sin”? How does sin become “unforgivable?” Answer

Author: Dawson McAllister of Dawson McAllister Live!

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