I will pose a scenario that has occurred recently in our little family, and give examples that are relevant to each of our walks with Christ. There are many members of the body, each set apart for an individualized task whose end goal is always the glory of God, anyone who does not live their life for the glory of God is not of the body, (Romans 8:8) but is a deceiver and a liar.
Let us say that you work for an organization that allows a clothing stipend each year, and you are allowed to obtain from that stipend coats, gloves, shirts, all the necessary items to perform the task you have been employed for, while not needing to spend personal resources of your own on clothing. Now let us say, for the sake of argument, that you have several extra items of clothing in your possession from this stipend, and you are aware of a family down the street who has a need for clothing items, but there is a decision to be made, for the company that you work for has set a rule in place, that none of these items of clothing procured from them can be donated. “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17)
Let us use another example, the place where you are employed has strict rules and regulations concerning what they term “religious conversations,” if continued in, it will be grounds for dismissal, yet there is a co-worker who is questioning the reason for thier existence, the reality of God, and is speaking to you about those questions. “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5)
We very rarely have the opportunity to perform a great and wonderful task for the Lord, but each day small items and opportunities come our way that give us ample options on how we will serve, why we will serve, and the extent to which we will serve well. Whether these types of circumstances are tests from the Lord or not, I cannot say, but I do believe that each one that comes our way is meant to allow us to see just where we stand today for the Lord, how far we are willing to travel, where our character lies, and even sometimes our integrity.
I pass no judgement in these areas, I judge not myself (1 Cor. 11:31) but I do reflect on my action or inaction after each circumstance, and I do so with no mirrors, only the facts of what happened or did not happen, and then I adjust myself accordingly with the truths of the Scriptures. The emotional context that we find ourselves in after each of these circumstances are never, or rarely the best determining factor for viewing those instances in the rearview mirror, so to speak, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9), and will lead us astray each time.
What does the Word of God say, that must always be the defining factor, yet how does one move forward when the Scriptures are clear, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) But “Servants, obey in all things your masters,” (Col. 3:22) one could quit easily judge another in this area, but a judge must be wise, and the wisest of them cannot discern truth for another in instances where the Scriptures speak of two truths, that is up to each individual. This is not to say that there are contradictions in the Scriptures, for there are none, but certain verses in context must be employed in the only way that we can, in faith.
What you do in these areas is, whether I prefer to say is or not, between you and God, you are accountable for you. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” (Matt. 6:24) That is the best I can do for you today, no one can assist you in these matters but Christ, trust His leading, learn from your mistakes when they come, and continue to serve in humility and trust.