The activities we engage in are either good or bad; there is no gray area for the followers of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, righteousness is not the polar opposite of unrighteousness (i.e., the most vile of sins); these two conditions are separated by a very thin line – a line which is easily crossed from moment to moment.

While the good and bad of many activities are obvious, most lie somewhere in between the extremes and can only be identified as good or bad based on God’s will and our faith. This leaves room for a lot of interpretation, presumption, and deception. Even the best of persons can fall into the trap of excusing their choices (and our enemies are standing by to help).

To rightly discern the right or wrong of an action, activity, or general direction in life, we are best served by submission to a guide – to walk in the Spirit. Doing so protects us from fulfilling the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). This journey – walking in the Spirit and following Christ – requires an overarching relationship and an undergirding foundation. In between, we walk in the good works of our Father according to His willing and working in us to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

It will help us greatly to recognize each activity – no matter how short-lived or insignificant – as important to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are all collected for judgment; the “whatever” and “all” of “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17)” is not misplaced.

Nevertheless, we must avoid analysis paralysis. Life is meant to flow like a river; we were created to walk in good works and run to win the race. Movement is essential; faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

God permits us the free will to participate in many unfruitful activities. The potential for waste is enormous… and unnecessary. We are encouraged to present ourselves as instruments of righteousness to God (Romans 6:13) – to live our lives on the right side of the thin line that separates righteous and unrighteous activity. Consideration for the opportunity cost of wasted activity would profit us greatly.

Lastly, it is important to recognize that we are not sufficient of ourselves for righteous living; our sufficiency is from God, who makes us sufficient by His Spirit (2Corinthians 3:4-6). Active and intentional dependence on God is our only hope for the abundant, righteously active, life.

God bless you with grace for the walk and work of righteousness.

Humbly yours and forever His,