April 16, 2023

Not Mastered

Daily Devotional2 Minutes

“All things are permitted for me, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”—1 Corinthians 6:12 NASB

Cicero was born into a family without the aristocratic heritage normally required to achieve success in Rome. Yet he gained influence as a lawyer and gifted orator.

In 63 BC, he became a consul, the highest elected Roman office, performing with distinction. But when Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus took control of Roman politics, Cicero was forced to leave Rome because of his outspoken beliefs. In exile, Cicero wrote extensively about his observations and experiences.

Cicero had seen that freedom was important but easily could be abused. He wrote, “The fruit of too much liberty is slavery.”

Paul, who lived just a few decades after Cicero’s death, might well have studied his writings. He certainly knew of his life. Paul knew that freedom was central to the Christian life. “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2). “It was for freedom that Christ set us free” (Galatians 5:1).

Paul also knew that freedom could be abused as an opportunity to give in to harmful temptations. He urged us to maintain a balance and celebrate the freedoms we have in Christ but not allow ourselves to be “mastered by anything.”

Celebrate the freedom you have in Jesus, but seek to live so you are freed from temptations. Be free to impact others for the Gospel.

Reflection Question: How are you using the freedom you have in Christ?

Father, thank You for setting me free. Help me stay on guard and not allow myself to be mastered by habits or temptations. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Today's Bible Reading
1 Corinthians 6