I wrote about living above reproach a few weeks ago, and I wanted to offer some practical questions you can ask yourself if you’re not sure whether a behavior is truly above reproach or not. The Holy Spirit is always there to gently convict us when we’re headed in a wrong direction, but sometimes it helps to have a simple yes-or-no question to answer, especially if we’ve ignored his still, small voice for too long.
I can’t remember where I originally heard this first question, but I came across it years ago and thought it perfectly sums up the guilty feeling we get when we know we’re doing something we shouldn’t:
Would I be embarrassed if my high school principal saw me doing this?
Ha! Isn’t that a great question? I think it could simplify a lot of decision-making for some of us. 😊 I’m not sure my high school principal would find fault with many of my decisions, but the principals I had in elementary school when I attended a strict Christian school also come to mind, and the stakes would be higher to get their approval. (I’m wearing a spaghetti-strap tank top as we speak…I’ve already failed them! Guess I better check my heart. 😁)
I came up with two more questions to ask that might hit home even more:
Would I be embarrassed if my pastor saw me doing this?
Would I be embarrassed if my grandma saw me doing this?
We all know that feeling we get when we know a spiritual authority or someone in an older generation wouldn’t approve of something we’re doing. (Oops, my ripped jeans are also now failing the test…clearly I’ve got work to do! 😉) When we’re doing something we know we shouldn’t, we want to avoid those people like the plague who have higher standards! Toddlers learn this at a young age, and we adults tend to hide in the same way. Hiding always indicates something is amiss.
When it comes down to it, I think the best indication of whether you feel convicted about a behavior or not is whether you feel compelled to hide it from certain people.
If you do, that would indicate that you may feel convicted by it.
If you don’t, you probably aren’t experiencing the Holy Spirit’s conviction.
Is there anything in your life that you feel the need to hide from others? Why do you feel the need to hide it? Ask the Holy Spirit if he’s leading you to make a change or to give something up, and be willing to obey him. It might be a sacrifice, but I can tell you with certainty that anything God asks you to sacrifice for his sake is always worth it.
May all of your decisions make your pastor, your grandma, and your high school principal proud this week! 😊