It's true, many Christians spend a lot of time trying to find things they can do that aren't forbidden by the Word of God. The Bible doesn't say I can't listen to Country Music, so it must be OK. The Bible doesn't say "Thou shalt not wear jeans to church", so there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Can you imagine how big the Bible would be if God had written down every specific thing we should or should not do? It'd be two miles thick! It would take a lifetime to read! More than a lifetime! We'd probably never remember all the commands! All our time would be spent constantly checking if every little thing we did was something permitted or forbidden by the Scriptures. Not only that, the world has changed drastically over the last two thousand years. We would have to weed through the stuff that was written for the Christians before cell phones, tv, and cars to find what God's specific commands were for 2012! It would be exhausting and probably impossible! That's probably why God didn't write a book like that.
What God DID write are timeless truths. It's amazing! Two thousand plus years and the Bible is still as relevant today as it was when it was written. I can still find answers to my problems. It still convicts me. It still strengthens me. It still directs me. Just like it did for those many Christians who have lived and served Christ over the past two thousand plus years. Wow! Only God could do that!
Why do we want to spend so much time finding excuses for behaviour not "specifically" mentioned in the Scriptures? God never intended for that. What He did intended was for us to read His Word and do what it actually says! James 1:22 doesn't say "Be ye doers of what's-not-specifically-forbidden-in-the-Scriptures." NO! It says, But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only..." We are to be doers of what's written. Look at these verses from Psalm 119.
I have run the way of thy commandments... (v. 32).
...I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart (v. 34).
So shall I keep thy law continually forever and ever (v. 44).
I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments (v. 60).
This writer was a doer of the Word! Here's the thing. You can't do something if you're always looking for an excuse to do something else that's not there. Here's another thing. You can't do something if you don't know what it is! That's why the Word must be read.
It's still fairly close to the beginning of the New Year. One of my goals for 2012 is going to be to try and focus more on doing what the Word says, and less on trying to find reasons why doing what I want to do is OK. It's really not about what I want. It should be about what God wants. His Word has a lot of principles in it, so starting with just one or two things is probably a good idea! Here's what I'm going to work on. Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord. I've got 3 things in that verse, and that will keep me pretty busy! I like the first one, because it applies directly to me. I have my own business, and I know sometimes I get lazy with it. I coast a bit. I waste time. I'm going to try and be more dedicated and waste less time when I'm at work, which means NOT going on facebook or blogging :P. Being not slothful in business can definitely extend beyond work. It's the idea of being faithful in daily responsibilities whatever those responsibilities happen to be. They are different for different people. Secondly is fervent in spirit. I looked up fervent in the dictionary. It means "having or displaying a passionate intensity." Wow, this is convicting! I have to say that many times I approach spiritual things with much less than a passionate intensity. Something to work on. Last is serving the Lord. There's no limitations put on serving the Lord in this verse. It doesn't say "serve the Lord on Sundays" or "serve the Lord when it's convenient." It's just serving the Lord. Always, all the time, everyday. That's DEFINITELY something I can work on.
Trying to find reasons to do what the Bible doesn't say is a waste of time. Remember, we are promised rewards for what we do as Christians. I have a feeling that those who make excuses and who spend time doing things the Bible "doesn't specifically forbid" may find they've earned a lot of wood, hay, and stubble in eternity.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved...
I Corinthians 3:11-15