Another Word…by Gus Keiser

September 25, 2017

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”…but not everything is good for you.

                                                                                                1 Corinthians 6:12

 About this same time every year there is designated on the “Calendar of Offbeat Celebrations” a week called “Banned Books Week”. The overall theme for this celebration is “Celebrating the Freedom to Read”.  According to the American Library Association, one of the co-sponsors of the annual event, Banned Books Week “celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.”

During “Banned Books Week”, librarians, teachers, and booksellers highlight books that have been challenged in the past in libraries and schools. Many of the banned titles are a part of school curricula but have been questioned by parents or community individuals concerned that their contents may be inappropriate for their children.

In the fifth chapter of his letter to the Galatians, Paul reminds the believers there of the freedom that they had been called to live through Jesus Christ. He reminded them that they had been set free from the rules and regulations of the old Mosaic Law.  But at the same time, he warned them to not use that freedom as an excuse to indulge their “sinful nature”.  In his first letter, Peter echoes that same warning, reminding you and me that even though we’re free under God’s love and guidance, we are still to be slaves to God, and that we are not to use our freedom as “an excuse to do evil”.

In today’s world, we continue to hear and to watch people exercise the freedoms granted them through documents such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We hear the voices and witness the many and varied demonstrations expressing the needs of multitudes of groups and causes, each seeking their own freedoms.  But freedom brings with it great responsibilities, especially in the spiritual realm.  If we don’t voluntarily submit to God’s limits and restrictions, we’ll end up becoming enslaved to our sinful nature once again.  That freedom that has been granted to us as children of God can also be lost if we don’t make wise choices.  Even though we’re free from the law and legalism, it very much matters how we live our lives.  Everything we do and say, and read, should line up with God’s guidelines.  That’s the only freedom truly worth celebrating.

Lord, you have given us the freedom to make choices for our lives. Loving God, now guide us by your wisdom that we might make the choices that are both pleasing to you and those that will enrich your kingdom here on earth.  Amen.

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