“Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples. You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” Romans 2:21-24 (NLT)
As children of God, we are free moral agents. However, this freedom comes with great responsibility. Even though we are free to do what we want to do, we still have a responsibility to behave in a way that does not lead others astray.
“Christians are not perfect, we are just forgiven,” is a cliche that is often used to justify our wrong choices. We should in no way take advantage of the grace and the forgiveness we have been extended. We have been given a responsibility to carry ourselves in a manner that brings God glory. We have been given a responsibility to respect the rights and the choices of others. We have been given a responsibility to use restraint in our behavior and not give ourselves over to every desire. Yes, we must bridle our passions.
Despite popular opinion, God does care when we use our freedom carelessly. Make certain to consider the consequences that may follow your actions. Will my decision cause others to stumble? Will my decision bring glory to God? These are questions we should ask ourselves daily.
Be responsible and choose wisely. It is much better to exercise the discipline we have to make the right decision the first time. We have a responsibility to carry ourselves not only in a way that will honor our Father but in a way that will also encourage those around us to pursue holiness and right living. What choice will you make today?
Lord, forgive us for taking advantage of your grace in our lives. If anyone that we have encountered has been affected by our wrong decisions, please restore them to truth. Teach us how to honor you in our decisions. Teach us how to set great examples of Holy living by pursuing You and Your way of doing things. May we use your Word as a compass to guide daily along the path of righteousness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thoughts: This is a general rule of thumb to live by: If my behavior is going to be a stumbling block to others maybe I need to reconsider the choices I make. How are your decisions affecting your children, co-workers, or family and friends? Take a few moments and reflect. It is not too late to get it right. Ask the Lord for forgiveness and the grace and strength to move forward.
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