Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)
By Kristi Sands
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Joshua powered off the computer and slid the office chair back. Sighing, he flipped the lights back on and headed out into the living room. He had once again reveled in a world of sensuality, unbeknownst to his family, friends, or children. He hated who he had become, but he couldn’t seem to control his appetite for more. Sex consumed his thoughts, provoking him into a secret lifestyle of sin.
Susan pulled into her driveway and noticed her husband was already home from his card night with the guys. In two hours alone, she had stripped their bank account of almost $300, purchasing new outfits, shoes, and accessories. Not wanting to revisit the same old money argument, she left her shopping bags in the trunk. She would haul them in tomorrow while Chris was at work.
“Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
In this passage, Paul recognizes the power of addiction. All things – even permissible things, even good things - have the potential to become addictive, sinful, and destructive. Susan, Joshua, and Marcia were not self-controlled; they were servants. They were mastered by their addictions. Their actions were not simple one-time decisions; they were lifestyles – repeated dependences on outside sources for fulfillment. Each one sought a high, a quick-fix, a stomach-filler.
We, as believers, too often become mastered by our sins, mastered by our sensations, mastered by our world. We are not in control. We follow lust. We serve self. We choose, and even cater to, our sin.
God said in Isaiah chapter 1, “The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manager, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”
We have lost the knowledge of God as our Master. We have reduced Him to a mere advisor in our lives. We consider Him a teacher or a close friend. We give Him lip service, we pray, we may even read His Word; but we often make our own decisions, naming ourselves Master. Instead of living as slaves to righteousness, we live as choosers of righteousness. We decide when and if we will follow His commands.
“I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.” (Romans 6:19)
How do I become a slave of righteousness? I consider it so. I live as if it is true. I call God my Master and sin my enemy. I do what is beneficial, not simply what is permissible. I am aware of my motives, temptations, and false gods. I vow to not be mastered by anything…“For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2 Peter 2:19). If my Master is Christ, then I am a slave to righteousness.
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