Surrendering your rights (I Corinthians 7-9)

 

 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.  I Corinthians 9:12

The person said and I quote: “I will do what I want to do when I want to do it.  What I do is no one else’s business.”

Question: does the previous outburst sound familiar?

If you had to guess who made the previous outburst, who would you guess?  Would you blame it on a teenager, or a person going through a mid-life crisis?  Would you label this to people who claim this is the American way?

How would you feel, if I told you that this is how I feel inside in the moments when the flesh comes at me hard?  Now, do not act like you are in shock.  The truth is, every person faces a battle within.  The old nature cries out, I will do what I want to do when I want to do it.

In I Corinthians nine, the Apostle Paul does exactly the opposite of this.  Paul says, I will not do what I want to do for the sake of others.  Follow Paul’s thinking.  He is not advocating a life of freedom to sin.  He is not surrendering his rights to sin.  Paul is surrendering his rights to Christian freedom so that he might not place a stumbling block before others.

When Paul was with Jewish friends he submitted to the law so that he might reach his countrymen with the gospel.  When Paul was with Gentile friends he submitted to their laws to reach them with the gospel.

Paul’s goal in life was not to be free to do what he wanted to do. His goal was to be free to reach people with the gospel.  When Paul did this he really did become free to receive the prize.

Question, are you facing roadblocks in your life today?  Could it be that you are the stumbling block that has turned your circumstance into a road block?  Here is a suggestion, surrender your rights and see how God can use you today!

I am reminded of I John 2:10.  It speaks volumes to me today.

 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him[b]there is no cause for stumbling.

I am going to raise my white flag as I write this.  Who is with me today?

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