We have been given great freedom in Christ, but we are not to use that freedom to do whatever we want. We certainly do have rights, but there are times when our rights do not benefit us because we use them to cover up or justify wrong things (1 Peter 2:16). To be quite honest, "our rights," when used wrongly, actually could even do more harm than good, affect our work and/or relationships, and take us down a path that will be detrimental in the future. Just because we have the right to do something and the freedom to do something does not mean it will be beneficial or the best thing for us to do.
1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 both talk specifically about this:
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
“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
Because I give a lot of my time to helping others in their health and fitness journeys, which means talking a lot about food, fitness, and the body--I especially like that these verses are from chapters that are talking about our bodies--about food, eating, sexual immorality, idolatry. We are called to be holy vessels of God that glorify God--our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit!
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
God wants to be preeminent in ALL areas of our lives (Colossians 1:18)! We must ask, regarding all areas, habits, and realms, "How are we working to master these things so that we are giving God glory?"
Practically speaking, I am working right now to master these 4 areas in my life--2 of which have to do with food.
Coffee--I love coffee, and it serves me a good purpose, but I work to make sure it is not mastering me. You can see this post to read about another time I really went after coffee!
Chips--I am free to enjoy chips--and I do! But, I am very prone to enjoy them too much...so, I am often working at mastering them! I love chips and keep them in my diet, but I keep my consumption of them in check!
Social Media--I love social media and I believe it can be a great tool used for good to glorify God, but this little thing that can turn into bad for me if I am not mastering it. I must be intentional to consider how much I am on it, when I am on it, and how I am on it. I must keep it in check! I am working out of boundaries (similar to the picture) and I have strategies in place to help me fight this.
Time Management--whew! This one is super hard for me. Some of you personality types cannot understand why or how this can be so hard for a person, but it is a hard one for me. I do not just allow my personality or natural bent have the say on this one. I work super hard to master this and keep getting it better!
How are you working to master some "things" in your life? Send me a personal message. I'd love to pray for you, encourage you, or help you in this journey!