“All things are lawful, but all things don’t edify”. As Christians, we are no longer under the law as a system of justification. Does that mean it’s ok for us to indulge in whatever activity we want to?

No. In the same way that smoking or excessive alcohol consumption will damage our bodies, so allowing certain habits and things into our hearts will hinder our relationship with God. Pornography, illicit affairs, intemperance, covetousness – as the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

The writers of many of the letters in the New Testament seem to have understood that God’s grace would be misunderstood in this way. We are constantly reminded not to use God’s grace as an excuse to indulge ourselves, but in love to serve one another.

If I care about my marriage, I will take care to nourish it, doing things to build up the relationship, and avoiding things that don’t. I won’t flirt with other women, I’ll make time to be alone with my bride, I’ll try to be thoughtful and considerate, even when I feel selfish. I’ll be careful about what I watch on the Internet and on TV. My knowing of God works on the exact same rules as any other relationship. If I choose to neglect those things that will strengthen it – obedience, prayer, reading of the Bible, choosing to serve and to love – my relationship with God will grow cold.

We can affect our faith life and our emotions for better or worse by the things we expose ourselves to. Doesn’t it make sense that if we are going to draw close to Jesus, we’ll want to stay away from things that can gunk up the works? It says in Phillipians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”.

Take care of your soul just like you nourish and exercise your body.