In last Sunday’s message I talked about the need for wisdom in knowing what issues are worth losing your life, your job, or just some sleep over. I proposed that we should be willing to die for our foundational beliefs, defend our biblical values, and discuss our personal preferences.
Afterwards I was asked, “What are some biblical values that we should defend?”
This is a great question! And this is why we need wisdom – to know when to speak up and when to stand down. I framed “biblical values that we should defend” as issues that we might be willing to lose our jobs over.
Here’s the important truth to remember when it comes to defending biblical values:
There is a big difference between being asked to do something that goes against your biblical values and someone else doing something that goes against your values.
Paul says, “When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10, NLT)
In other words, I should be prepared to lose my job if I am asked to do something that violates God’s vision for sexuality (for example). But I’m not going to lose my job over an unbeliever who goes against God’s plan for sex. If we did so, we’d all be unemployed!
So let’s bring this into the real world. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, performing a same-sex marriage goes against my biblical values. I will defend that value to the point of losing my job over it, but not my life. However, I’m not going to put my job on the line for same-sex marriage in society. Meaning, I don’t expect unbelievers to live by biblical values, so I’m not going to defend that value to them and risk my job over it. But I will discuss it with unbelievers and believers alike.
Here’s the bottom line:
Defend what you are asked to do. Discuss what others choose to do.