“You become the slave of whatever you choose to obey.” Ro 6:16 NLT
Consider some of the people who are enslaved today through no fault of their own—children sold into the sex trade and immigrants sold into forced labor. That’s not the kind of slavery Paul is talking about when he writes, “You become the slave of whatever you choose to obey.” When it comes to sin, the Bible draws a line in the sand and tells us not to cross it. Why? Because when you cross it once, it’s easier to cross it again. Whether your “drug of choice” is alcohol, illegal or over-the-counter-drugs, pornography, gambling, or overeating, you start out believing you’re the master and end up realizing you’re the slave. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is, “I can quit whenever I want to.” The Prodigal Son was forgiven and restored, but he still lost his inheritance. Spiritually, you can lose your confidence before God. Personally, you can lose your sense of self-worth. Publicly, you can lose respect and influence with others. And if you’re not careful, even “good” things can hurt you. A strong work ethic can lead to neglecting your family and losing your marriage. Vegging out in front of the TV can stunt your spiritual growth. Even too much caution and thoughtfulness—good qualities—can prevent you from stepping out in faith and fulfilling your God-given potential. When God says no, He is not being a killjoy and trying to make your life difficult; He is protecting you! If something has the potential to enslave you, don’t do it. And if you’re already hooked, turn to God and He will set you free.