Discerning Sin from Preference

Laurie Livingston Nave
10 min readJun 27, 2022

Letting The Word guide us in comfort and discomfort

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Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
~ Deuteronomy 4:2

A plumb line is used to determine the integrity of a vertical line. It is used by plumbers, contractors, and other types of builders. Obviously, it is important when building structures and systems that lines be perfectly vertical. Ir order to gauge this, a weight is attached to a line, and the tension pulls the cord or string into a vertical line.

Tension is an interesting thing. In the context of God’s Word, there is sometimes tension between what is truth and our preferences, our traditions, and our pasts. But just like it is important that a vertical wall have integrity, it is essential that we not measure God’s Word against preference, comfort, past, or tradition. Rather, we should be measuring those things against God’s Word.

It’s never pleasant when what someone says rubs up against our own “stuff.” I confess I used to read those “bodice ripper” type romance books. I read them because my married life at the time was without intimacy, and I saw it as a sort of escape. However, I listened to someone talk about lust in the Bible and the dangers of pornography, and they mentioned those kinds of books.

I didn’t like it. I wasn’t looking at pictures or videos. I wasn’t chatting with people. I was reading fiction — it wasn’t even real. However, the TRUTH was that what I was reading was, in fact, pornography. So I had a choice: I could rationalize, or I could follow Biblical principles. I’m sure many people would sympathize with my lonely, sexless marriage. I mean, at least I wasn’t “cheating.” But again, the TRUTH was the truth. I had no business reading that stuff. Obedience meant that those books needed to be gone.

But what about other things? What about things that aren’t clearly (not twisted and bootstrapped — clearly) addressed in Scripture? Here’s an example. I was a public school music teacher for many years, and my children went to the school where I taught. I was in a Sunday School class with a woman who felt very strongly about homeschooling. She used Proverbs 22:6 and other verses to claim that…

Laurie Livingston Nave

The downhill trip is more fun than the uphill. A 50+ year old mother, wife, nerd, musician and writer. Follow me at https:www.laurienaveauthor.com