“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
Beloved, if there is one thing I learned VERY early on, is that permissible does NOT equal profitable. If you are born in America, you are raised and indoctrinated about all the rights and permissions you are due just off grip of being an American citizen. In government and social studies classes you get more in depth of what rights were given to various people groups, and what rights were fought for for various people groups. Through and through we are taught in America at a very young age that we have rights.
Now if you grew up in a traditional household like I did, oh you had rights, but you sure were not exercising them if they went against mama and daddy. My parents were not super strict, but strict enough! I had a right to fresh air… on the porch. I had a right to take a walk… two houses to the left and two houses to the right. I even had a right to ride my bike… in the driveway with a locked gate barricading me from the outside world. Best one yet, I had a right to date at 17-18 years old… but I had to send a picture of the man, his license plate, make and model of his car, and the address of where we were going and the time we would be back (which was my set curfew of 11pm). SO, I had “rights,” but exercising them was another story, lol.
I learned the difference between permissible and profitable when I got to college. In my junior year, I turned 21 years old. I was of legal age to drink alcohol. So, I planned all the way up to my birthday what wine I was going to drink on my birthday. Sounds fun right? All except for a young woman that God had introduced to me that year, we will call her My Elizabeth. I was working my summer job and I met My Elizabeth at my summer job. She worked at the job full time. I knew instantly that she was a Christian because of her personality, conversation, and she was very peaceful. Long story short, we hit it off well and she and I grew a friendship. Now we were not yet weeks into a budding friendship when I was sitting at my desk researching what I wanted to do for my birthday. She was not being noisy or anything. But she She turned around at some point and said something to the effect of, “Hey, I’m not trying to be in your business, but The Lord is impressing on my spirit that you should not drink when you turn 21.” I could have fainted. How did she know?! Was this girl prophetic? Needless to say, I took the paper I was jotting my little wine list on and folded it up and tucked it away. “Ok,” I said, “Thank you.” If she tells the story I probably said way more. My friends back at school took me to the bar for my birthday (they were 21 as well). I ordered a beer, took a sip, and remembered. I never finished that beer. It wasn’t profitable although it was now permissible.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.Proberbs 20:1
Beloved, that is just one small example of this lesson. If you are struggling in an area, as I stated in a previous post, you must cut it off. If you are struggling to stay chaste, watching countless hours of “The Bachelor,” or rater R movies with sexual content is not profitable. If you struggle with drinking alcohol, then going to the bar every weekend with your friends is not profitable. If gossip is a struggle for you, talking in the work lunchroom with a bunch of ladies who gossip is NOT profitable for you.
I’ve talked about things being permissible and profitable, for you, but a lesson within a lesson, is that while things may be permissible to you, they may not edify the rest of the body of Christ. Let’s look at smoking as an example. When the body smokes a cigarette, a message goes from the brain to the hand to pick it up, light it and bring it to the mouth. A message then goes to the mouth to drag in and then to the nose or mouth to breath it out. Messages shoot around the brain that “I really needed this cigarette because I am so stressed out and this calms my nerves.” Not harm not foul, right? Wrong. What the brain was not focused on is that the nicotine in this cigarette is passing through my lungs and overtime clogging them and turning them black. Or, this drug is getting into my brain and causing an addictive habit that I’m now challenged to break because I associated stress-relief with smoking. The lungs eventually cannot function 40 years later, and you die at 55, premature to what you could have lived.
When I look at sex before marriage, I have rights over my body and can do whatever I want. But I also have small children in my family that look up to me, and teenage female cousins that look up to me and ask me about the choices I am making with my body. It is a beautiful testimony to be able to share if you were once lost in your sexual decisions and recommitted to Christ, but that is not the story I want to tell. So my wait not only keeps me well in body and spirit, but it strengthens my female, young family members confidence in God’s ability to keep you until marriage and bless you with a blessing you never anticipated, when you wait. It is profitable to them as well as me.
Part of Jesus Christ being Savior in our lives is that he saves us and makes us new from all the unprofitable things we decided to do without Him. The other part of Him bing our Lord, is that he is the owner who bought us with the high price of His Blood. Salvation was free for us, not Him. To be the Lord of something means to be the owner of the thing. I am so glad that Jesus is no hard taskmaster, but a loving Lord who has a profitable life for me to live if I lay down my “rights,” to Him. Will you give Jesus the right to make you new today and instruct you with His precious Holy Spirit in the way that you should live? You’ll find more information on this in Matthew 5-6. Choose Jesus Christ today. You haven’t began to see a life of profit until you’ve lived a life submitted to Jesus. It’s better.
#Permissible #profitable #30in27 #refreshher