"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.
Thoughts for Today:A few weekends ago, I was riding bicycles with my five year old grandson Christian. Before we started out we talked about the rules -- which side of the street to ride on, how to look before turning, what hand signals meant, etc. As we rode around our neighborhood he tried to remember and apply what I taught him. But the rules were a lot less important to him than going as fast as possible, slamming on his brakes to skid his tires, then shouting, "Look at that Grandpa!" The rules were only important to him because they were important to me. He didn't understand the purpose was for his own safety, not just to make me happy.
In the same way, some people look at the freedom we have in Christ and say, "What can I do?" They think, "If there's not a law against it, then I want to go for it." For them a boundary is not a line to stay clear of, but to see how close they can come without crossing over. I would be really concerned if Christian became an adult and still asked, "Am I going to be punished if I don't look before turning?" He would have completely missed the point. It's not what we have to do that matters -- but rather what should we do?
God has given us a salvation that comes by grace. (Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.") The point is -- just because we may be free to do all things, doesn't mean it is beneficial, constructive, smart, or safe to do so. We don't need to see how far we can go with liberty and still retain our salvation. Instead, our efforts should be placed in seeing just how close we can come to always doing what pleases the Lord. This is what Paul advocates.
Questions to Ponder:How close to the boundaries do you live? Do you choose to be on the fringe of righteousness or in the middle of what you know pleases the Lord? How do you know? What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about now? How will you respond?