Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What will I give up?

I posted before about God's desire for me to give up sugar.  My recent Bible study covered 1 Corinthians.  In chapter 8, Paul writes about eating food sacrificed to idols.  Some said, it's ok, I know that idols are nothing.  In 8:7 Paul writes, "But not everyone knows this."  Then in 8:9 "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak."

I'm allowed to exercise my freedom.  The freedom to do things God has approved of me doing.  Yet, God also calls me to to look around.  Is someone watching me?  (Not in a self centered way or a creepy way either.)  Perhaps my daughter, my husband, the women in the check out aisle or the guy in the car next to me.  Am I behaving in such a way that first, glorifies God and second, isn't tempting them to do something they shouldn't.

Love limits freedom.

1 Corinthians 13 has the great passage on love.  In my love for God I will look out for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I will encourage those yet to confess belief in Jesus.

Everything is permissible" - but not everything is beneficial.  "Everything is permissible" - but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23

I don't want to be stubborn and arrogant and insist on having my way.  To do what God allows me in with no regard to how it influences others.  This isn't to say that I should place value on others opinion of me.  I do say that I will behave in such a way that strengthens my brother and sister in Christ.  That I encourage them to live also for God.  It's about coming out of my shell, looking around, and allow God to use me for His glory.

What will I give up?

I will give up watching a lot of TV.  I will be mindful of what this stupid box says in front of my daughter and the images that are shown.  God's word is better than the shows I used to claim to love.

I will give up social alcohol consumption.  I don't have an issue with drinking, however, in my current position, others may stumble to see me drink.  My brother recently stopped drinking, as well.  After many years of continually drinking to the point of drunk, he gave it up.  What can I do to help him?

I will give up sugar. I will exercise.  I shepherd others who have food issues like I do.  In caring for my health and not eating sweets, I show them my love, my example.

I will stop looking only at road blocks for what God has called me.  I have to allow God to direct my path and stop looking at the road block, going directly towards it and hitting it.  I may have to climb over or go further to get around it, so be it.  The road blocks may look big to me, however I have a God of possibilities, nothing will stop Him!

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