“For everything created by God is good,
and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude…”
1 Timothy 4:4
Timothy is speaking here of the last days when men fall away from the faith because they paid attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. He speaks of doctrines such as forbidding marriage and abstaining from foods. The bottom line is legalism. When we put our trust in what we can do or should not do rather than the sacrifice of Jesus, then we are bound up by lies. Verse 3 says that these foods that people are abstaining from were created by God to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. Knowing the truth is accepting that we are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1), but rather we are children of God.
Law is safe. Give me a list of do’s and don’t’s and I can accomplish it well and feel good about myself. Relationships are less safe. They have the “Squishy factor” of emotions and wills. When our oldest son wrote his senior paper for high school, he wrote on War Gaming. In War Gaming much can be predictable and counted upon. But the “Squishy factor” comes into play when you introduce human emotions and will into the mix. So around our house that has become a familiar term. Relationships have a ‘Squishy Factor”!
But relatitonships also offer greater rewards than lists. I can pat myself on the back for a job well done when a list is accomplished, but to share in an accomplishment with another is more gratifying. Law put restrictions upon the Israelites that they might know the protection and provision of God. Also that they would learn Who their God is. Law also taught them that they could not keep the law perfectly and that they needed a Savior. Law has done it’s job. The Savior has come. A relationship with that Savior, Jesus, and the Father Who sacrificed His Son, is fulfillment and love and acceptance and joy! When we choose to go back to the law, demanding lists be fulilled, there is bondage and shame and rejection.
Relationships are risky. But, our God is good and everything created by God is good. We teach our children that God created and everything was declared good. Satan is a created being and cannot, himself, create anything. Instead, Satan distorts what God created as good and perverts it for his use. Take music as an example. Music is God’s creation for our worship and adoration of God. It touches our hearts and minds like nothing else. It can lead us into the very presence of God. But Satan has distorted music and it is used to deliver messages of evil and death. Sex is something else that God created as good within marriage. It unites and draws near not only the body, but the spirit and soul of two people committed to one another for life. Satan has twisted sex and made every kind of perversion acceptable in our culture, destroying lives, bodies, families, and children.
As Christians, we are to enjoy that which God has made for the purpose that God made it for and rejoice and be thankful. There is no shame or rejection in God’s ways. Don’t be bound by laws. Walk with Jesus, day by day, minute by minute, know His word, and listen to His heart and you will know how to live and find fulfillment in that which god made for our good!
Hint of the day: As your children get older, don’t run from topics that are uncomfortable rather engage them in this conversation: What God created for good, Satan has used for evil. Teach them to find beauty in music. Teach them that beauty in sex comes only after marriage. Point out the lies of Satan and tell them the truth of God’s word. We avoided shows with witches in them when the children were little. Then as they grew we discussed the evil of witchcraft and why it is bad. Together we agreed that Harry Potter and other shows that normalize witchcraft would not be what God would have us to do. This grew not out of law, but rather out of a relationship with Jesus. We want to please Him and glorify Him. Witchcraft does not do that!