OUR FREEDOM TO LIVE IS LIMITED BY OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO LOVE
Our freedom in Christ does not relieve us of our responsibility to consider others, especially new believers. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he was concerned about those who felt free to eat meat offered to idols without consideration of those who would be tempted to sin by doing the same. The city of Corinth was known for its temple to Apollo. The Apollo Temple was the most prominent building in the city. In addition, overlooking the city was an acropolis upon which stood a temple to Aphrodite. Animal sacrifices were offered at both of these temples. The meat was then sold to local butchers in the Corinthian market place, who sold it to their customers. Even though as Paul pointed out, these gods were not real, those who grew up in Corinth might feel disloyal to Christ by eating the meat offered to Apollo or Aphrodite. For this reason, he said, “If it causes your brother to sin, then don’t eat meat” (1 Cor. 8:13).
Our freedom to live according to our conscience and knowledge is to be limited by our responsibility to love others. In an age when unlimited personal freedom is celebrated, where are its limits? Shouldn’t parents limit their freedom to provide a safe place for their children? Shouldn’t the strong restrain their freedom to protect the weak, and the mature limit their liberty to love the young? As one someone once observed, we have a Statue of Liberty on the East coast, what we need is a Statue of Responsibility on the West.
PRAYER: Father, we thank You for the freedom we have in Christ. But this freedom is marked by Your love. It is freedom from sin, not to sin. It is freedom from sin’s slavery that we might live freely in and for Christ. Empower us this day by Your Spirit to live for Jesus. Let our freedom be guarded by Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.