Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 2:17-22
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 6:12
“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything.
The Bible talks a lot about freedom, slavery, and masters. Of course, the culture in Jesus’ day used slaves as we might use hired hands. The master would purchase a slave for work and service as the master deemed. The Biblical writers used this concept as an analogy to habits that might enslave us. These habits (or addictions) have mastery over a person (the slave) and cause the loss of true freedom!
Jesus came to set us free from all slavery. He came to give us life and life abundant! God knows, better than we do, what things are destructive and enslaving to us. He calls them “sin.” Our scripture for today reminds us not to be slaves to sinful behavior. It is in this context that the apostle Paul speaks that “all things are permissible, but all things are not beneficial.”
There is liberty in Jesus Christ. We are no longer under law, but under grace. Yet, God is still concerned about our freedom and joy of living – sin still robs us of both. The Bible is trying to move us beyond that immature way of thinking about any issue that only looks at what might send us to hell. God wants us to think about what is best… pure… wholesome… healthy… uplifting. Social drinking has such “potential” for harm to both participants and onlookers! It seems to me a stretch to call social drinking an uplifting activity!
Father, it is so easy to cater to my own fleshly desires without thought to the negative implications. Grant me wisdom to look beyond myself to deeper issues. I ask this in Jesus’ Name, amen.