First of all, I have to say you guys are awesome! Your contributions to last week’s post showed me that a lot of other young Christians have at some point or another found themselves in a similar situation asking themselves a similar question. Good to know I’m not alone!
Secondly, let me clarify something, if I may. A handful of people seemed to think that perhaps I was questioning my standing with God because I went to a club and as such I had people reassuring me that God still loves me and I haven’t done anything wrong lol. I really appreciated that but that was the least of my concern, if I’m honest. There’s nothing I can do to make God love me less than He already does (this applies to ALL of us). I was just more interested in understanding why I felt the way I felt about having gone clubbing.
Another recurrent debate I was engaged in because of this question, through private messaging in particular, was people trying to prove to me that house parties and going clubbing were the same thing. I can’t really be bothered to address that because that greatly deviates from the point for me. I never alluded to them being different things, I just expressed how I had felt in one setting in comparison to the other and not necessarily endorsing one over the other. I could argue about the kind of house parties people go to given that some crowds are generally wilder than others but for some reason I just don’t feel “off” about house parties, in general, as I do about clubbing. I guess, that’s my prerogative, right?
Now I’ll share with you my revelations on this matter given that I’ve had about two weeks now to mull it over in my heart and also from some of the comments people have given that really blessed me.
Last week I explained that I realised that my main concern was about, for example, someone who might have wanted to give up clubbing in order to strengthen their walk with God and their merely seeing me in the club might have convinced them otherwise. One of my favourite comments on Instagram, on last week’s post, as shared by my friend as part of her comment was that, “Its a huge expectation you set on yourself thinking you need to influence absolutely everyone who knows of your blog and your movement, which by the way has been brilliant and genuine! Concluding your wrongdoing was the potential impression others could have had of you to an extent that it influenced their own choices, simply for attending the club is unreasonable to yourself. I mean where do you then draw the line?”
From digging through the Bible to see what God/Jesus really felt about this, I really got a sense for how radical (it’s funny people don’t like this word when it’s meaning is not even negative the way media has portrayed it to be particularly in respect of religion, but I digress!) the kind of love Christianity advocates for, truly is. And if I ever master it, I’ll know I’m getting the biggest prize from Jesus Himself!
Let me explain. I was reading 1 Corinthians chapter 8 which basically addressed the argument of that era as to whether people could eat meat that was offered to idols. While the factual subject was “meat”, I liken this to all the activities in the world that usually cause subjective conflict to many Christians all over. The whole essence of the verses of this chapter is that, because Christianity is about a relationship with God through Christ and is driven by a heart connection, we have to understand that whatever people do that affects their conscience negatively is capable of making them move away from God because of guilt. This is particularly true for less mature Christians still trying to figure out the early stages of their fellowship with God and their own personal dos and donts.
Whilst I personally know that going into a club does not subtract from my relationship with God neither does it necessarily add to it, t’s a choice I’m free to exercise if I so choose but the following verses from 1 Corinthians chapter 8 challenge me to a higher level of selflessness and, shall I say, empathy for the struggles and temptations of others which I guess is maybe what my spirit was trying to minister to me that Friday night:
“9 Only be careful that this power of choice (this permission and liberty to do as you please) which is yours, does not [somehow] become a hindrance (cause of stumbling) to the weak or overscrupulous [giving them an impulse to sin].
10 For suppose someone sees you, a man having knowledge [of God, with an intelligent view of this subject and] reclining at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged and emboldened [to violate his own conscientious scruples] if he is weak and uncertain, and eat what [to him] is for the purpose of idol worship?
11 And so by your enlightenment (your knowledge of spiritual things), this weak man is ruined (is lost and perishes)—the brother for whom Christ (the Messiah) died!
12 And when you sin against your brethren in this way, wounding and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
13 Therefore, if [my eating a] food is a cause of my brother’s falling or of hindering [his spiritual advancement], I will not eat [such] flesh forever, lest I cause my brother to be tripped up and fall and to be offended.”
I’ve read these verses over and over again and the first thing I said to God is “There is absolutely no way I can keep to this but by Your Grace, I’ll try and I’ll get better at it”, because really, where does one draw the line? It didn’t say “your friend”, it said “someone” and that can be ANYONE! That means I have to be conscious of so many people’s struggles and I realistically and mentally do not have the capability for that. I barely have room for my own struggles.
Yes, yes I see the eye roll and the side comments about how that’s just excessive but people, fact of the matter is that being a Christian is a lot about giving up your current pleasures for the long term good of others around you. When in the midst of those who know you well and vice versa, then of course you can let your hair down but the Bible calls us to just that one level higher. Now I have a more profound understanding of John chapter 15 verse 13 (AMP), “No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.”. I used to think the Bible was asking me to die for my friends and I just thought there’s no way I can do that. And rightfully too, I don’t need to lay down my life physically because Jesus already did that, but now I have to do that psychologically and emotionally for my fellow Christians as the need arises and according to the measure of faith God has already apportioned to me (Romans chapter 12 verse 3).
That being said, everything has to be in balance with the leading of the Holy Spirit because God can send me anywhere for the sake of anyone and as long as I have peace and no conflict within myself then I’m good to go as the occasion demands.
So in summary and to answer the question for myself (because this reason will differ for each of us as much as the we all differ, I’m well aware of this): I was meant to have gone clubbing that night not just because of the celebration with my friend but perhaps if I didn’t, the avenue to talk about this might just not have come up. Mysterious ways, ey?
Hopefully it’s blessed somebody out there 😀