“All things are lawful,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other.”1 Corinthian 10:23-24
Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! The very name that frees us from sin, death, and the devil. That’s right, He FREES us from sin. Cool, huh? That means that “all things are lawful” for us. What do you think about that? That’s being free in Christ. Jesus Christ suffered horrendously for us, died for us, was separated from our Father for us. He did this so that we will never be separated from the Father or his love, never, ever, ever! Because of this we are free. “All things are lawful” for you. Congratulations, you are free.
What would you like to do with your freedom? What’s first on your list? Tell off old so-and-so? Manipulate people to suit your wishes? Steal? Take advantage of people? Be rude? Stop helping others? Enjoy your gluttony (of sleep, food, drink, pills –whatever your temptation is?) Worry more? Pray less? What do you want to do with your freedom, the very freedom that was purchased for you with Christ’s own blood?
Living in Christ means living for the ‘other.’ The list of behaviors in the previous paragraph are all selfish behaviors. Behaviors of those in bondage to sin. Those are not behaviors of those freed from sin. Those freed from sin can, somehow, some time, let go of their selfishness and live for the ‘other,’ seek what benefits the other, the neighbor, the church family, the community. Odd, isn’t it? Freedom in Christ is not self-serving, but self-giving.
The joy of Freedom is letting go of selfish desires. Letting go of always trying to get your way is freeing in and of itself. When you can hold your best ideas loosely, willing to let them go takes all the pressure of ‘making something happen’ off you. You can now seek God’s will in all things and follow where he leads. Oh, it is SO MUCH easier to be a simple creature in God’s creation, living within the boundaries of God’s plan. Sit back and enjoy the ride. There will be work to do, rest, and enjoyment. Doesn’t that sound freeing?