I heard it frequently in high school and college. Friends who were in serious dating relationships often wrestled with a question that was worded something like this, “How far can I go with my boyfriend/girlfriend before it’s too far?” Most of my friends believed sex before marriage was wrong, so they didn’t want to go “too far.” I understood – I was young once upon a time too believe it or not!
Today, similar questions are still being asked. They begin similarly, but can end in any number of ways. God-fearing people continue to ask things such as:
- How far over the speed limit can I go before it’s really speeding?
- How far can I push my language before it becomes profane?
- How far can I pad my expense report before it’s stealing?
- How far can I pursue this conversation before it becomes flirtatious?
- How far down can the neckline be before it’s too revealing?
- How far up can the skirt come before it’s indecent?
- How far can I pursue my hobby before I’m ignoring my family?
- How far can I exaggerate my deductions before it’s tax fraud?
- How far can the TV programs or movies I watch demean the name and character of God before they’re unacceptable?
I’m sure I just stepped on some toes – and for that I’m sorry – I got myself pretty good too! But, here’s my point, and I hope you’ll read carefully. To the teenagers’ question in the opening paragraph, I once heard a youth leader reply, “You’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking how far you can go before crossing the line into sin, ask yourself, ‘How far can I go in this area to please God?’”
It’s a far different question isn’t it? Starting today, think about situations in which you may be struggling and begin asking, “How far can I go to please God in this area?” –Dave
Make every effort…to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)
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