God has plans for every one of his children. However, He gives us free will in order for us to make decisions on our own. As much as he does not impose his love on us, so he does not impose his will.
However, there are instructions and commandments that have been given to us that we are expected to follow. This includes ungodly things to avoid as Christians. God has out rightly told us some of these things, and the others can still be found in the scriptures or in our society.
There are two categories of things that we should avoid:
1. The Things That We Know Are Bad For Us
As the popular saying goes, “one man’s meat is another’s poison.” This means that there are things that other people would do that would be good for them and when we do them, we would regret it because they are bad for us. This is why in Christianity, it is strongly advised that we find the things that are good and work for us.
There are things that we may get involved in that would lead us into temptation and hence backsliding. Such things include visiting some kind of environment for evangelism. Your intention may be pure, but your strength cannot carry it.
Therefore, when you find yourself in such situations, you should totally avoid it and not try to test or push yourself beyond your strength at the moment because you may end up being enticed and drawn to such a crowd. These are the kinds of things to avoid even though God did not tell you to avoid them.
2. The Things God Out rightly Commanded Us To Avoid
As there are things that we need to take the initiative to avoid, so also are things that God has commanded that His children avoid. Such things can be found in the Ten Commandments that God gave to the children of Israel in Exodus 20:1-17.
There are many other instances where God gave commandments in both the new and old testaments, which Christians are expected to adhere to even these days.
Such things that have been expressly given as instructions and commandments are clearer, which makes it possible for us not to be confused about which things are sins and should be avoided and which are not.
Are There Some Sins To Avoid?
“Are there some sins to avoid?” is a question many Christians tend to ask in their walk with Christ. Dear believer, there are definitely sins to avoid; all sins should be avoided and not just some.
Any action that does not glorify God is an ungodly thing to avoid as a Christian. A right-standing Christian should hate sin and so should not select or indulge in any part of it, whether “small” or “big,” whether “partial” or “complete.”
Granted, everyone has the urge to sin as no one is beyond temptation, but what we make of the temptation is what really matters.
Even Jesus was tempted by Satan in Matthew 4:1-11, but Jesus gave himself to the spirit and not the flesh, then rebuked the devil and overcame the temptation. This is why the Bible says in James 4:7 (NIV)
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Submitting to God allows you to function in the spirit. Therefore, when sinful circumstances arise, you are more vigilant and guarded enough to resist the devil instead of falling for the temptation.
Many times when we do things that we know are wrong, even though they are not stated as sins or ungodly things to avoid as Christians, we are still sinning.
We may be thinking that it is just a rule in society that we broke, but this is also a sin before God, even though it is not written out in the Bible.
God is heavy on obedience, and obeying the law is one thing God loves, as long as it does not go against your faith as a believer.
For example, if we please God by obedience, we should ensure we pay taxes, obey road rules, be patriotic, and the like. Going against these are certain sins before God and, therefore, should also be avoided.
What Are Ungodly Things?
Should you be wondering, “What are ungodly things?” here is an answer to that; Just like the word, ungodly things are things that are not of God. They are things that Christians cannot and should not do. This includes things that God has condemned.
Being ungodly means being separated from God. When you are separated from God, you will find that you are walking in the flesh and not the spirit, which is a total act of ungodliness.
What do you do when no one is looking and even when people are actually looking? Are you representing God as much as you can? Are you applying the scripture to your daily life? These are questions Christians should regularly ask themselves in order to remain on track with God or to return when they seem to be derailing.
Ungodly things are those things that are abominable before God. When God says “don’t”, do you “do”? As you answer these questions, you can examine your Christian life and identify those ungodly things to avoid as a Christian totally.
A Christian Must Never Participate in Communities or Religious Gatherings that Despise the Supernatural Power of the Holy Spirit
To “quench” means to extinguish or stop. Thus, when you “quench the Spirit, “you are missing out on blessings he wants to give you and minimizing the good fruit he wants to produce through you.
The primary Scripture text that talks about “quenching the Spirit” is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22. It reads:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
Here we see that “despising prophecies” is directly linked to quenching the Spirit. One reason Christians are tempted to despise the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, like with prophecies, is because so many people fake it and abuse this type of thing. This is why Paul then also says, “but test everything.”
So Christians can easily fall off the edge in two ways here. We can believe everyone who pretends to be used by the Holy Spirit. Second, we can begin to despise all works of the Spirit because we have seen so many people abuse these types of things.
Therefore, as a Christian, never participate in conversations with people who are bitter towards people who seem to be used by the Holy Spirit. Likewise, don’t blindly follow everyone who seems to be used by the Holy Spirit.
Christians Must Never Participate in Conversations that Corrupt the Group and Tear Others Down
Another key passage about extinguishing the Holy Spirit’s work in your life is Ephesians 4:29-31. In this passage, the exact phrase is “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,” which is closely related to “quenching the Spirit.” It reads:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
What is corrupting talk? It is anything that does not do “good for building up” those who hear it. What we say can have a positive or negative affect on those who hear us. For example, Proverbs 18:8 (NIV) states, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.”
If you participate in conversations that tear people down, you are grieving the Spirit.
A Christian Must Never Participate in Something that Would Require Them to Neglect the Holy Spirit’s Personal Leading in Their Life
One of the primary works of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to bring loving conviction. Conviction is different than condemnation. Condemnation is what you feel when you don’t have the blood of Jesus washing away your sins and thus you feel the price of your wrongs on your conscience.
Conviction from the Holy Spirit, however, is not just about pointing out past sins so you can repent but it is also about pricking your conscience in the moment so you don’t participate in something God doesn’t want you to participate in.
This is especially clear when it comes to blatant sins. If you ignore the Spirit’s leading and you walk into sin, you are quenching the Spirit. But sometimes there are grey areas in life that are not so clear. Some Christians may not have the same conviction as you.
If you sense the Holy Spirit leading you to avoid something but you do it anyways because other people are, this too is quenching the Spirit.
As Romans 14:23 states, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
If You Are Participating in Anything that Is Distracting You from Using the Spirit’s Gifts, This Is Quenching the Spirit
Throughout the New Testament, it’s clear that one of the acts the Holy Spirit performs is giving God’s saints gifts meant to be used for the advancement of the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10).
However, the Holy Spirit and his gifts don’t possess us like demon possession. Rather, we must willing participate in our development and service to God. Thus, you can neglect your gift. For example, if you are spending too much time with friends online,
As you play video games together, if you are gossiping with friends, or if you just being lazy as you follow the trends in our society to worship entertainment, you could be quenching the Spirit because you are neglecting your spiritual development and service to God.
Notice how Paul instructed Timothy about these matters in 1 Timothy 4:12-16. It states:
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
In verse 12 he warned against succumbing to older people who “despise him,” which would cause Timothy to not lead the church there and thus resist the Spirit’s leading because of what others wanted him to do. In verse 13 he tells him to “devote” himself to God’s work.
In verses 14, he directly commands him to not “neglect the gift” he had been given.” And then he tells him to keep practicing and being diligent in his service to God and people.
In 2 Timothy 2:3-4, Paul also said, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” If you are participating in anything that is hindering you from using your God-given gifts, you are quenching the Spirit.
A Christian Must Never Participate in Anything that Steals God’s Glory for the Good the Holy Spirit Produces
Perhaps the fastest way to offend the Holy Spirit is to take God’s glory for yourself. Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other . . . .” Just look at what happened to Herod in Acts 12:22-23. It states:
And the people were shouting, ‘The voice of a god, and not of a man!’ Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.”
Going back to our key text in 1 Thessalonians 5:18-19, it states, “. . . give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” Here we have a warning about the importance of giving thanks to God for the good he gives followed by a warning not to “quench the Spirit.”
When we participate in anything that takes God’s credit and thus minimize the glorification he deserves, we are quenching the Spirit.
Abusing Mind and Mood Altering Substances
Ephesians 5:18 states, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit . . . .”
This verse does not condemn alcohol, but it does condemn getting drunk. When you get drunk, you are altering your mind and mood in an unnatural way. It often causes you to lose self-control and feel things that are not reflective of reality.
Getting drunk can make you feel happy when your sinful life should make you feel sad, and it can make you feel sad when you have plenty to be thankful for. It skews reality.
This verse about alcohol gives us a principle that can guide us in our use (or are non-use) of any substance. God can use medications and natural remedies to assist us to feel like ourselves and to gain more self-control. But if you are using a substance to alter your mind and mood in a way that causes you to lose self-control and feel less like your true self, you are quenching the Spirit.
Producing the Works of the Flesh Rather than the Fruits of the Spirit
When you read Galatians 5:16-26, you see a list of “the works of the flesh” and “the fruits of the Spirit.” God isn’t just saying “Don’t do the works of the flesh and do the works of the Spirit.” Rather, he gives us these lists to let us know how we can know if we are truly following the Spirit or not.
If you are not following the Spirit, you will know it by the works of the flesh manifesting in your life. If you are following the Spirit, you will know it by the fruits of the Spirit manifesting in your life.
In summary, the main way you quench the Spirit is by neglecting his leading in your life. As a Christian, never participate in anything that the Spirit is leading you away from and always seek to participate in those things the Spirit is leading you to do. As Paul said, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).