March 12, 2019
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality…
Taking or Giving
Do you remember the first time you felt like you had been taken advantage of? Maybe it was in a relationship (romantic or friendship) or in a professional setting? Whatever the circumstances, the result was an empty, hollow, painful feeling many of us know all too well. We gave of ourselves in good faith to a person who took from us, sometimes without even a thank-you.
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60, the stoning of Stephen.)
First consider forgiving those who have hurt you, those who have taken from you. If the time has come to let go of the hurts of the past, may you find freedom in forgiving those responsible. Perhaps it is still too soon, the wounds too fresh, or the pain too deep. That is all right. Take a moment to pray to our God for healing with the help of the Holy Spirit:
Lord, help me to be free of the sins others have committed against me.
As your Holy Spirit guides me, let me be a person who forgives.
Now then, what sort of person do you desire to be? Will you be one who takes what you want in relationships? Will we, as a church, be people who only seek selfish gain? Or will we be brothers and sisters who set others as better than ourselves and give selflessly as Stephen did?
Many today would argue that sex or sexuality is about personal preference and desire, and that ultimately, we are like the rest of the animal kingdom: natural urges will always win. Many think relationships exist for what they can personally receive, that gathering up benefits from transactional relationships is the way of the world after all. This mentality may be most pervasive with how the world sees sex and sexuality. People take advantage of others as they see fit.
Jesus Christ did not give his life for the way of the world. In fact, our God gave of himself freely so that we would know we are not of this world. There is a better way.
Let us put to death the lie that we are to take from others in relationships. You were made in the image of God, and our God is a giving God. Therefore, do not take from your brothers and sisters in Christ. Put off sexual immorality, lift one another up with a selfless love and honor that reflects the imago dei, the image of a giving God that is in each of us.