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Paul writes to the church in Corinth these words, “‘I have the right to do anything’, you say - but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ - but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Paul provides us great wisdom for living in a diverse culture.

  1. Freedom is a privilege that can bring regret when abused. In my freedom there are some choices I’m free to make that will not be beneficial to me or those I love.

2. Freedom is a right but not a license to harm others. We are not permitted by the

law of Christ to use our freedom to hurt others. In our freedom we are to seek the

good of others.

3. Freedom is fragile and must be exercised with great responsibility.

Here is the rub, and what Paul was addressing to the christians at Corinth - What do I do when my convictions are in conflict with your freedom? What happens when I’m invited to participate in a lawful act that conflicts with my values? How do I stay true to my values and the code of freedom when my values come into conflict with someone else’s values?

Living free is difficult in a diverse culture. The way of Christ is when my freedom doesn’t impose on you and your freedom doesn’t impose on me. Two mistakes some christians make when it comes to freedom: 1) Some think giving others the freedom to live free means they condone their behavior or lifestyle. The ethics of freedom isn’t whether you or I condone or agree with another person’s freedom. The ethics of freedom is we give them the freedom to make their own choices. 2) And then, some think it’s their responsibility to govern other people’s freedom. Paul makes it clear this is not true freedom. None of us are qualified or been given permission to define freedom for another.

When we are free from trying to control other’s freedom and free from other’s controlling our freedom, but use our freedom to do what is beneficial and constructive for ourselves and others then we have found true freedom.

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