I have also encountered this phrase in a sermon preached recently by my husband on "Designer Roles". The scripture deals with the roles of men and women in the church--particularly corporate worship. Part of the message dealt with what one would consider appropriate dress for worship. Do we choose to wear things "just because we can"? Should we? What is our motive? Does it draw attention (either positive or negative) to us rather than Christ? People get very defensive when it comes to what they wear. It leads us to really ask ourselves the motive behind how we choose to adorn ourselves, especially on the Lord's day and in His house....but also in daily living.
I have also contemplated the "just because" statement when it comes to television, movies, music and other media. So many people today choose to watch television programs and other things simply because it what is available to them. They figure, "these are my choices....I will watch TV or movies....therefore I will choose what I feel and believe is the best choice for me from what is presented to me by the media." As a teacher who deals with music choices on a regular basis, I am often faced with eager students who love their musical choices so much that they want to share them with everyone. The show GLEE, for instance is brought up regularly as "the best thing ever" and I am begged (yes begged) on a weekly basis to include arrangements of songs from this television show for us to perform. My response to these students is usually to go and print the lyrics off, study and consider them in the light of who we are as a school and a choir, study them in light of who we are as believers in Christ, and return to me with their rationale for why this would be a good choice for our choir to sing. Most of the time I either do not get a response at all, or some of the deep thinkers will come back and say, "I see what you mean. But I still like the song." Here again as Christians we are faced with decision we have to make in regards to what we have shoved in our faces by the mass media. The latest bands of the day, the most popular singers and celebrities, the newest television show that "everyone is watching", the newest book series out (and we want our kids to read, right?), the box office smash that is a "must see in theaters", and the clothes that are "in style" or on the racks. Many Christians fall prey to the mentality that "this is what the world is like"....."this is what my choices are and I must choose something"......"everyone is going/watching/reading/listening".....and again I hear in my mind.....
"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
We are told in Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (emphasis mine) Apparently these people were battling "the world" like we are today. If it was bad then, it is even worse now...and going downhill fast. It is only when we stop conforming to the world and giving into the choices it presents us that our mind can begin to be transformed and be renewed. And THEN we will be able to discern what God's good, pleasing and perfect will is for us. Looking for "God's will"? Transform your mind by being different and rising above the scum and filth offered to us on a silver platter with glitz and glamour and "fun" decorating the package. That enticing package is a path of poison. It is the slow kind of poison that eats away little by little and often without our knowledge......like a hidden cancer that rears it's ugly head at Stage 4 without any prior symptoms or warnings.
Just because I have greasy fast food available to me at every stoplight in the city doesn't mean I should eat this every day.
Just because I am old enough to drink and smoke doesn't mean it is good for me.
Just because the radio is playing a song that verbally raps domestic violence in the name of "it's not right" on the other side doesn't mean that those words and phrases aren't penetrating my heart and mind. Maybe I shouldn't listen and repeat. (and sing the tune over and over again in my head)
Just because "everyone" (and I use that sarcastically) in America is watching a certain television show doesn't mean I should.
Just because the books are on the shelf doesn't mean I should read them.
We live in a wonderfully free world. I am so thankful to have choices. I am thankful that I have things at my fingertips to enjoy, read, listen to, watch and experience. But making wise choices is tough when the crowd is moving in mass toward something. It is so easy to follow the crowd.....or even get caught up in the crowd unintentionally---whether that is by mistake or association. Matthew 7:13-14 says, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Does this sound like a party train to you? Does this sound like you will be in mass company? It sounds a little lonely if you think about it. But it is what God has told us in His word and it simply means....
"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."