That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:10)
As an employer, I have to approve significant expenses in my organization. When I receive a budget or expense account, my responsibility is to see if every item is legitimate and within parameters for the proposed purpose. As Christians, part of our job is to approve or test every word, action, and opportunity that comes our way.
The enemy’s goal is to deceive us by making sin and error look like it is right. Jesus Himself let us know that in the last days many will be deceived (Matthew 24:11).
How do we test everything? What is the baseline for determining right from wrong? We should test everything to see if it lines up with God’s Word. Our prayer should be for ourselves and others to have their eyes opened to understand deception by knowing God’s truth about every matter.
Why is it so important that we can distinguish deception from the truth? Paul says in Philippians 1:10 that the goal is for our character to be known as sincere and without offense. The Greek word translated as sincere in this verse is only used twice in the Bible. It refers to purity, meaning something that is not mixed with anything else. When we live our lives by testing the words we say and the things we do by the Word, we prove that we are not adding the world’s way to our Biblical thought.
The Greek phrase without offense gives the implication of someone who lives their life in a way that doesn't cause others to stumble but instead encourages them to live their faith.
Practical Application – Ask God to open your eyes to ways of the world that you have accepted in your thinking, speaking, or behavior. Then make the changes needed to line up with God’s Word.
Ephesians 1:17; Romans 12:9