Thursday, June 10, 2010

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I was reading this article called "Taming the tongue" on Boundless, re-reading actually and this short line popped up at me. 
Simply having the freedom to do a thing doesn't justify doing it. Being able to discipline oneself for the benefit of others is the very essence of maturity.
It's mainly referring to people using the freedom of speech to justify using colorful words in speech, where the article promotes taming the tongue because "To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Proverbs 8:13)" and also "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. (1 Peter 3:9-11)" And of course : The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:6).

But i think it applies to most other things we do that's not only harmful to self and people around us, but most importantly that's displeasing to God and an ungrateful expression towards to the grace God has already shown us. It reminds me of Galatians 5 which says : 
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
And another aspect that you find in Galatians is the loving service to the brothers expressed in the fruit of the Spirit (also 5:13-14) versus gratifying the flesh which evidences the list above. You see how your own godliness is tied in to the church's godliness as well. Because Jesus came to save his church, a motley crue of undeserving sinners, all of us. Not just individuals. Lone rangers are dead rangers, says Josh Harris in his book 'Sex is not the problem; Lust is'. And, through working through the book with the girls, i can see how it all works out, how my own godliness is tied into everyone else in church as well, how my own 'tiny' sins affect the others. I certainly don't want anyone else to be stumbled because of me. 


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