As Christians we were not called unto slavery. The fact is that we were called out of darkness into light and that also means we were called out of slavery into freedom. We were under the yoke of the devil and now under the grace of God. Nevertheless, how much of freedom should we show off when we take the decision to become Christ-like?
Many are beginning to forget that even though we have freedom as Christians, Apostle Paul reminds us that if our freedom will become an offense unto the other young believers around us we must be careful to not be the reason they will be offended or even turn back from the right path.
While it is true that coming to God’s light gives us so much freedom, we can’t forget the fact that restraint on our freedom is what guarantees the freedom of other people as well. Maybe you are wondering why I would say such a thing. Think about it.
When you don’t restrain your freedom, others look at you and ask if this is what Jesus would have done if he were here. Some people even say they will not like to become Christians if the life of someone they are looking at is what Christianity looks like. Why will such people say things like that? The first thing that has prompted statements like that is not even the ignorance of those men who are yet to come to light but the refusal of those who seem to have come to light to limit their freedom.
In the book of 1 Samuel the Bible talks about how David restrained himself. In the cases it was against killing Saul. In James it tells us to restrain our tongues. In 1 Conrinthians 14:40 we are admonished that everything be done decently and in order. The Bible itself is replete with scriptures asking us to restrain our freedom.
Does it mean we don’t have that freedom? No. We have it. Why do we then need to restrain our freedom? One of the clear answers was what Apostle Paul said about not being the reason others would fall. You may do something and someone else may never understand why you did it but that person is looking up to you. They have made you a standard and will judge anything you do as being the right thing.
Can you also remember that Paul said all things are lawful but not all things are beneficial? That also comes to having the freedom to do all things but what will be the profit in doing them at the end of the day?
In the name of having freedom, some Christians talk carelessly anywhere they go and they don’t seem to realize that they are bringing disdain on the name of the Lord. Because of freedom there are those who dress anyhow to where they are going and even to the church these days. Some people almost walk to church half naked because they think they have freedom. There are those who can’t exercise restraint when offended because they have freedom. Sometimes when someone does something very painful to me too, I feel like giving them a piece of my mind. You also need to know that when I choose to keep quiet, it is not for lack of words but success in exercising restraints on freedom of speech.
Speaking about freedom of speech, I once heard a story of two people talking and one person wanted to exercise his freedom of speech. The other person answered, ‘I can guarantee your freedom of speech … but I can’t guarantee your freedom after the speech.’
Have you thought about what your freedom is doing to the Lord you claim to be serving or how it is bringing disrepute to the name of the Lord? Because of your freedom there are those who are yet to come to the Lord or have even vowed never to do so.
Unconsciously, when you exercise freedom without restraint you are heading towards destruction. Your freedom should not destroy you just as God did not call you into this light to destroy you. You were called into the light so that you may shine. However if you intend to really shine, you have to be able to restrain your freedom. You need to walk with the consciousness that your restraint brings glory to God in that people see you and they want to serve your God.
Remember we were told to let our light so shine before men that they will see our good works and glorify our father which is in heaven. Put some caution on your freedom today lest it destroys even you. Let your light shine under restrained freedom and your father be glorified.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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