Saturday we had a blast talking about Rights!
I have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial.
I have the right to do anything, but I will not be mastered
by anything. I Corinthians 6:12
And there you have it! The problem with Western Christianity. Yep, here we find the major struggle between American Christianity and Christ.
Paul highlights the thought of every American Citizen. We are rights driven and not righteous driven.
Paul acknowledges that we are born with certain rights. These rights are given to us by our creator as well as the country we live in. Adam and Eve were given freedom of choice. God allowed them to think for themselves. He gave them the right to choose their own course. He allowed them to create their own path. He even goes so far as to give us the right to receive Him or reject Him. This is again, a right.
He gives us the free usage of our limbs. In most cases, we can choose to speak, when to walk, when to stand, when to sit…. We even choose when to participate in sin, and when we flee from its presence. We have things we are tempted by and drawn too. Things we have a specific proclivity towards things that are pleasurable to our flesh and relief to the stress and tension in our minds.
It’s Legal, so It Must Be Right!
Furthermore, there are things that are pleasing to me that are legal for me to do. These lawful things might be in disagreement with God’s Word and law, but are things that society deems acceptable and normal. Because of this, we can do things that are opposed to God’s Word and receive no earthly legal consequence.
Right to Bear Arms
In a dialogue with a friend, we talked about purchasing a fire arm. I asked him what made him purchase his firearm? What it danger? Was it sport? Was it protection? He replied, “It’s might right!” And he is right! It is his right to purchase and legally own a firearm.
But I wanted to explore this logic a bit more in parallel to this text. Paul is not arguing that the citizen or believer doesn’t have the right to do what they are thinking and what they desire, but he is asking them to think beyond their flesh and to wade into the Spirit.
I am sure I could find in the readers of this blog a few that wish they had taken more consideration of how they used their freedoms. Surely we could find a few that with they could un-spend some resources, or un-interact with certain people. Maybe we could find a few people that would un-smoke certain substances, our un-consume certain beverages. Maybe we would find a few people who would un-click a website, or un-speak a statement or conversation. Non of these things were illegal, but the things that followed them were beyond the moment and were unseen, not understood or underestimated.
Eve uses Her Right!
Eve, on her journey to be a Boss, took advantage of her right to eat fruit from the tree. She knew death would follow, but lacked understanding of what death was, and even how quickly it would come. She didn’t even know that she would experience it first with her relationship with God (figuratively) and physically with the loss of her son Abel.
Eve had a right; much like you had a right.
Adam had a right; just like you have a right.
And too many of us continue to eat from
every tree we can reach because its our right!
Check the Benefits Package!
Paul says, “…not everything is beneficial…” What do you gain by partaking of this fruit? Yes, its your right, but what becomes of the one that choses this path?
Sadly, sin comes with a warning, but is not always descriptive of the side effects and what one looses. Much like our advertisements, what is focused on is what you will gain and not what you will loose and what will be altered. This is that right you have. The ability to control and dictate your own life.
Paul says, “…I will not be mastered”. What a statement by Paul! What great advice to others!
One of the best stories I heard was from a co laborer who asked me the question,
“Have you ever been to a strip club?”
I will not put into print my answer (Pleading the 5th is not an admission of guilt people), but I will document his answer which was “No!”. I congratulated him for not venturing into this environment, and he said, “I have never gone, because I know I will like it! What a statement! What self-awareness! What conviction! What discipline! Simply put, ” I will not be mastered….” Most of us go because we know we will like it (again, I am not saying that I have gone. I’m just saying that those that do go often go because….), and here this servant is saying I refuse to go because I am sure I will go again.
What if we all decided not be be mastered? What if we left closed doors closed, and sealed windows shut? What if we left the boards on the windows, and the lock on the gate? What would happen if we didn’t make decisions based upon what we desire to do, but based on what we desire not to become dependent on? What if we refused to participate, withdrew from the race, sat this one out, fled through the open window and escaped through the open door?
Paul advises those reading to be of sober judgement when considering what you entertain and what you should abstain from. Know yourself, and to your own self be true Shakespear wrote, and before we write ink to our timeline by making decisions, we should be more thoughtful towards how todays line affect tomorrows script.
I know you have rights! They were given to you, but every right doesn’t lead down the path of righteousness. Therefore, we must be careful using the our rights, lest they lead us away from freedom into a life of bondage.