I have the best of both worlds. I was born and raised in the United States of America, and have now lived in Canada for close to 47 years. My US passport allows me to travel in and out of my birth country as often as I like. My Canadian Permanent Resident Card allows me to enter my adopted country without worry of being turned away.
This week, both of these countries are observing special celebrations. Canada Day on July 1st, and Independence Day on July 4th. Although these celebrations have quite different origins, the countries enjoy the same types of freedoms and liberties. We have the freedom to choose our life’s work and career. We have the freedom to gather together and worship our Saviour. We have the freedom to hold to individual thoughts, beliefs and opinions. We have the freedom to express those opinions while respecting the rights and freedoms of others.
The day that I decided to follow Jesus and accept His forgiveness, I became a Child of God and a Citizen of God’s Kingdom. As a daughter of the King of Kings, I gained additional freedoms and liberties that day. I gained freedom from the punishment for my sin, and I gained the liberty of knowing that my future, though not always easy, is directed by an all knowing and loving God.
Several months ago an acquaintance of mine made a statement that prompted me to study the scripture about our freedom in Christ. I wanted to be sure I was clear on my understanding of just what this freedom means to me, and how it ought to affect my lifestyle.
There are many verses that speak of freedom. One verse speaks of both having freedom, and being a slave.
”As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.” 1 Peter 2:16 (HCSB)
Paul writes about lifestyle liberties in his letter to Jesus’ followers living in Corinth.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:23 ESV
Yes, I may have the “right”, to do what I want to, but I need to keep several things in mind. Is it beneficial to me and to others? Is it constructive? Will it make me a better person? Will this behaviour benefit only me, or will it also help those whose lives I touch?
Above all, I must keep in mind what I read in verse 1 Corinthians 10:31:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Whatever I choose to do, or say, will it bring Glory to my Creator, Saviour and Lord?
Debi Snider... more