Here is an arresting description of a well-balanced Christian: “Happy is the man who has no reason to condemn himself for what he allows” (Ro 14:22).
If the goal of all life is to achieve happiness, then Paul has revealed one of the key factors in that achievement: happiness is reaching that place of inner poise where you know exactly what is permissible for you so that you live free from the misery of self-condemnation.
Now that is a most desirable state, although it is one that few Christians reach. Are you happy in the things you allow or disallow yourself? Or are you continually swinging from acceptance to accusation, from pleasure to disgust, from liking your life-style to despising it?
Do you live comfortably and pleasantly with yourself, your neighbour, and your God; or are you haunted by an uneasy sense of disharmony, of being unsure of yourself, not knowing what you should approve or disapprove, nor how you should relate to the world and the things that are in it? Can you eat, drink, love, laugh, cry, work, play, with contentment and peace, or is your conscience often unsettled, plagued with guilt, restless and troublesome?
Do you love yourself or loathe yourself?
The purpose of this book is to analyse the components of a true Christian life-style, to discover what factors enable the Christian to determine what is allowable, so that you may live without guilt, enjoying fully the happiness which is your God-given right.