“…do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence” Galatians 5:13
The little boy and the old man say, “I can do anything I want!” That is a true statement, in a sense. Then, again, it is not. The word “anything” covers a wide spectrum. First, we must ask ourselves some questions; will it hurt anyone? Will what I do cause anyone to do something that will hurt someone else? And most importantly, is it in the will of God?
Paul in his letter to the Philippians writes: “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.” (4:8) In other words, we are free to do “anything” that brings peace and contentment to ourselves and others.
Freedom is a special gift not set apart from the law. It is a fulfillment of the law. It enables you and me to live in harmony with God and one another. Now there is a prerequisite to the totality of freedom, which is, one who does not know God cannot experience it. To be a totally free human being one must set their mind on the things of the Lord. This is what Paul means when he told the Corinthians,” When I was a child, I spoke like a child. When I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways” (I Cor. 13:11)
Freedom is a privilege shared by those who know the Lord and live in peace with one another. The law, whether man-made or handed down by God on tablets from Mt. Sinai, is desperately needed just as a corral for sheep. Without them we would wander off in all directions resulting in a chaotic world. Even so from time to time one does wander, but God will always bring them back.
Call upon Jesus and He will set you free-free to be the one He created you to be. He will fill you with the strength, power, and love of the Holy Spirit. It may not change your circumstances, but within you will find joy once again. The words of Paul; “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstance; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thess. 5:16-18)
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thess. 3:16)
Dear Lord, help me to find peace in this chaotic world. Help me to be an instrument of your peace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH
Words: Sy Miller and Jill Jackson
United Methodist Hymnal
United Methodist Publishing House 1989
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God our creator, children all are we.
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me; let this be the moment now.
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow;
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
Romans 8:2 John 8:36 Romans 3:27 Galatians 2:19 I Cor. 15:45 2 Cor. 3:5, 6