Read 1 Corinthians 5 & 6
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 6:12 “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.”
Have you a pet sin? Once that’s been with you for years? Perhaps It’s relatively secret (apart from any “shared” sinning it may have precipitated with other secret partners). You’ve brought it to God many, many times, but it’s still there. You haven’t mastered it yet. In fact, if the truth were known, it has mastered you.
When you read Paul’s words in the second half of chapter 6, there’s a tendency to react immaturely to his hymn of freedom — “if all things are lawful for me, then lets get on with sinning!”, something inside you cries. But the very thing you think of doing is probably the very thing that has mastered you, or would if it could. Paul, on the other hand, after declaring that “all things are lawful for me,” goes on to quickly add, “but I will not be mastered by anything (v.12b NIV).
Maturity is an elusive thing. We assume a person is mature because he/she is “adult”. They’re in their 40’s or 50’s and have had time to develop — they’re refined and objective. They’ve got their act together; their judgment can be trusted. Not necessarily so.
Some of the most immature people I have known are “up in years”. All their lives they’ve demanded and got their own way. They’ve specialized in making life meet their own needs — often at the expense of the needs of those closest to them. Indeed, their needs have mastered them.
Contrast these self-absorbed ones to the truly free spirit. Here’s someone who has recognized the potential tyranny of his own needs, and has determined, rather, to meet the needs of others at the expense of his own short-term satisfaction. He’s a soul with eyes fixed on the far horizon. Under God, he is master of his own destiny. Truly free and truly God’s.