Responsible freedom

Date: Thursday, July 3

Scripture1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Verse:  I have the freedom to do anything, but not everything is helpful. I have the freedom to do anything, but I won’t be controlled by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)

John-Wesleys-General-Rules-of-the-United-SocietiesJohn Wesley, the founder of our Methodist movement, was a bit of a process guy. As the societies, the largest of the weekly Methodist gatherings, began to grow throughout England, he gave them three “General Rules.” These were given foster the growth of each member in their discipleship. The first of his rules was stated, “It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they shall continue to evidence their desire of salvation, First: By doing no harm.”

In today’s reading, we hear the Apostle Paul telling the gathering of Jesus followers in Corinth the same thing. We have freedom in Christ, but we are not free to do things which are not helpful or control us. I once heard someone explain this rather dramatically by saying, “I live in a free country, and yet I am not free to burn down my own house.” Yes, of course. That has the potential to cause harm to the people living in the houses around us, and it would cause firefighters and other first responders to put their lives on the line. But some of are actions can be more far-reaching.

We ought to consider the consequences of our actions, not only in how they will affect us, but also how they will affect the people around us. As people of faith, we are called to do no harm, to ourselves or to others.

Prayer: Teach me, O God, to be one who does no harm. Amen.

Action: Spend the day ahead considering how your actions will affect those around you.

Respond: What does it mean to you to do no harm?

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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