All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being.
Free will is the integral part of who a human being is. Any suppression of a person’s free will in an ungodly manner will hurt the person. Many have found that when God heals them, they were set free to decide, make choices by exercising their free will.
In society, if every person is permitted to exercise his free will, whenever he wants it, however he chooses, wherever he decides and whatever he desires, can you imagine what it would be like? A simple example is: if children are allowed to choose what they want to eat, where they want to eat and the manner to eat their food, according to their free will, what consequences would you anticipate? It is before long that society realizes that exercise of free will, though essential as it is to every individual to live out their identity and personhood, there must be boundaries put in place. Because the exercise of one’s free will, cannot result harm in another. In exercising one’s free will, one cannot violate or abuse another. So, we have laws in every society and every nation. These are boundaries every citizen is expected to respect and follow. It put responsibility on us, because free will always come with responsibility.
Many today would play “lawyers” when it comes to asserting our rights to exercise our free will. If I do this, is it lawful? Is it permissible under the law? If it is, we would have a sense of entitlement to do the very thing we want to, sometimes with very little regard for other’s wellbeing. The Apostle Paul in today Bible quote says, our decision to exercise our free will should not be guided merely by the legality of the act. It should be guided by common wellbeing and in consideration of others’ wellbeing. In fact, he said if the act clearly does not edify – does not build up, does not bring benefits to others, does not protect others, or even bringing harm, of course, Paul said he would not do. Neither should we.
How then, should the exercise of our individual free will be guided? In our actions, decisions, speech, or words we write? Firstly, by taking responsibility of the consequences of our free will. Secondly, as Paul said later in his 1st Letter to the Corinthians, guided by love. What a contrast to our world today!
The ability to restrain or control our free will out of love for others is true freedom – for us and others.
- Spend a moment to ask the Lord to reveal to us, if we have in exercising our free will choice, caused harm and pain to others. Ask the Lord for forgiveness and set us free from guilt.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to pour out God’s love into your heart, that His love will be the motivation behind the exercise of your free will choice.