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Dear Disciples of Christ,

I can – if I want – eat a whole box of ice cream. I can – if I want – binge watch as many episodes of Yellowstone as I’d like. I can – if I want – indulge myself in whatever fantasy I might desire. But just because I can, doesn’t mean I should. 

This belief we can do whatever we want because we can isn’t a new affliction. It goes back to the beginning. After all, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil wasn’t locked away; protected by swinging swords, lightning bolts, and fire. It was in the middle of the garden. Adam and Eve could eat it any time they wanted. But just because they could, didn’t mean they should. In fact, God told them they shouldn’t – and if they did, they’d die. But it looked so good. What harm could possibly come from a bite? So – they ate. And the rest is history. (Genesis 3)

God, our creator, knows exactly what He created us to do … and how to do it. He’s given us all access to gifts He expects us to use. But … not to abuse by using them in ways that bring harm to us or others. God doesn’t leave us guessing. He tells us how to use the gifts He’s given us.

Yet, like Adam and Eve, too many think having access to something enables us to use it as we see fit. Especially if that gift brings us pleasure. But God warns us against misusing His gifts, “All things are lawful … but not all things are helpful,” (1 Corinthians 6:12)– “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.” Then He hits on two items that often draw us into sin – food and sex. Both, used as God intended, serve godly purposes. But when abused, they lead to sin and death. Fortunately, by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, He forgives us for our penchant to do whatever we can … even when we shouldn’t. Thank You God for Your patient grace and mercy.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Jim