Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just Because You Can

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (1 Corinthians 6:12)

I had to go to the DMV in Edgefield last week. As I came through the door, I saw there were two people in line ahead of me. I knew one of them, so she turned around and spoke to me. We chatted for just a moment while we waited, and then we both noticed something about the same time.

To our right, along the wall, was a teenager, who was sitting at a school desk. He had a pencil in his hand, and was writing in a booklet. At times, he would stop writing and tap the end of the pencil on his chin and furrow his brow. What he was doing was obvious. He was taking the driver’s license test.

Both of us who were in line, chuckled and made comments about our current inability to pass the test. We both agreed that we were glad we were not the ones taking the test. However, my thoughts went back to my teenage years and my own quest for a driver’s license.

I did very well on my written test. However, like every other teen, I was nervous about the driving portion of the test. However, when the officer came out and called my name to go for the driving test, I could not have been happier. I knew that one of my best friend’s father was a SC Highway Patrol officer, but I had no idea that he administered driving tests. I passed with flying colors!

There is a huge amount of power that rests in obtaining a license to drive. You can go where you want, you no longer have to depend on someone to take you places, and you have a taste of true independence. However, power without responsibility and wisdom, will always lead to a fall.

Paul says in the above passage, that all things are lawful for the Christian. We are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are forgiven and have freedom in Him. However, simply because all things are lawful, does not mean that we should do things that are unwise.

While, a driver’s license gives you some freedom, the privilege and the vehicle must be treated with respect. The license gives you the right to drive, but that power must be used responsibly. Speeding, driving recklessly, and other abuses of that power can lead to expensive tickets, car crashes, injury or even death.

I believe, in essence, what Paul is saying is, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” A good example of this is the story of 59-year-old, Leroy Fick from Michigan. Mr. Fick won $2 million dollars in the state lottery almost a year ago. However, he continues to receive food stamps. Qualification of food stamps is based on gross income, and lottery winnings are considered liquid assets. Therefore, the lottery money doesn’t apply to the qualification standards. Simply because Mr. Fick technically qualifies for food stamps, doesn’t mean he should continue to receive them.

Psalm 49 tells us in verse 13, that if we put our trust only in ourselves, we will die. It is only when we put our trust and our lives in God’s hands that we will know how to live. He knows what is best for us. The only way that we can use the power of life responsibly, is to allow Him to have control. 

For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others. Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are like the beasts that perish. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings (Psalm 49:10-13)

1 comment:

Michael said...

Great post! Some sermon fodder I'll have to save & use for an illustration someday. Thanks for sharing this.