REFLECT: All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power: 1 Cor 6:12-14
APPLY: An especially toxic temptation is the impulse to do something – just because you can.
The fact that you can do something doesn’t mean you should (1 Corinthians 6: 12-14). Even doing the right thing at the wrong time – or in the wrong way – can cause great harm.
Take for example, the act of eating which, in essence, is a good thing: we must eat to live; we eat to celebrate; and we can aid others by giving them something to eat. Yet overeating leads to obesity, which easily leads to sickness, and frequently, an earlier than expected death. The eating of inappropriate things (e.g. glass) or unhealthy foods (e.g. a daily diet of decadently chocolate cake)may also prove fatal.
Then there is sex. This much maligned act was designed by God as a good thing (Genesis 2: 18, 24; 1 Corinthians 7:5). It feels so good, that the temptation to indulge prematurely (under age or before marriage) or excessively (serial one night stands, sex addiction) is right up there on the list of the hardest temptations to resist. It feels so good that contemporary culture declares that 🎶 ‘if ‘loving’ [fill in the blank] is wrong, I don’t want to be right’🎶 It feels so good that the sexual gratification of self – at the expense of others – by once admired power brokers recently birthed the “Me Too” movement.
So, we focus on ‘liberation’ and ‘empowerment’, and try to avert our eyes from the results.
There was a young girl who was in her early twenties. She was fresh faced, with a sweet personality. She was from an ordinary background, if somewhat poor. She had a boyfriend who left her when she fell pregnant. She had the baby and lived with her Mom. She had to take a minimum wage position to make ends meet. She was unhappy and discouraged by the challenges of single motherhood. She started escaping her reality with drugs. She became overweight, and her skin blemished. Her still sweet smile belied the hollow look in her eyes. She passed away, shortly after, from a drug overdose.
Rest In Peace, sweet girl – but will happen to her dear little baby now?
PRAY: Father be my strength and my guide. I cannot do this without you. If I dread deprivation, I may overlook the dangers of excess, and if I am too assertive about my freedoms, I may become a captive. Sometimes I feel society urges so much freedom on me, that it is hard to follow Your way. Please do not let my appetites rule over me. Please amplify my feeble self control with all those good gifts of Your Holy Spirit – against which there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). In Jesus Name, Amen.