Dangerous Gifts

Everything good that God has given to us is dangerous.

Fire is a good example. If fire is utilized in the proper way, and is under control, it is an absolute wonder in the world. It can be used not only for comfort, but also, as has been the case for eons, for man’s very survival on Earth. But the freedom to truly benefit from this power and enjoy it is only possible when the thing is harnessed and under the control of the one who dares ignite it. If, for whatever reason, things get out of control, the advantages of the fire are quickly gone. What was such a necessary, beneficial, and enjoyable friend can rapidly turn into an out-of-control and raging monster.

Again, this is true for all good things in life. Try to think of one thing that you have, can benefit from, and can enjoy that does not have a dangerous side to it, if out of control. We could speak of food, money, power, sex, internet, medicine, work, smart phones, sports, guns, cars, and that most important of human needs, relationships. 

None of these good things can truly be enjoyed as they were meant to be enjoyed unless and until the beneficiary of them has the ability—the freedom—to control them and have the dominion over them. True freedom is not being able to do everything I want, but being able to do everything I ought. True freedom is strength under control. It is harnessing the power and potential in the universe of God’s good gifts, while operating as their master, not as their slave.

All people of all ages are naturally enslaved to their passions. We are born into this bondage called sin. We can have some transient, fading pleasure in sin “for a season,” but the end of that road is bondage, suffering, and death. We get burned, hurt, used, and eventually enslaved to the things that should give us comfort and joy and help. Instead of being able to have the dominion over the good things God has made, they have dominion over us.

But Christ has come, and He has come to set us free from what enslaves us. Jesus Christ is the only way to restore men and woman back to their Creator and Father Who knows what we really need. He has shown to us the truth that really does set people free. He gives people life, and life more abundantly. He imparts to men and women the Holy Spirit of God that allows us to bear good fruit such as love, peace, and self-control. This is in complete contrast to the rotten fruits that are naturally produced in our lives. We become dominated by self-centeredness, immorality, idolatry, jealousy, drunkenness, anger, gluttony, pride, etc. Christ came to set us free, and to begin the work of setting things right again in this world, giving mankind the freedom and ability to be and do what he was made to be and do. And in this way He works through these individuals and families to build His kingdom.

This does not mean everything will ever be perfect in our lives. As long as we are in this world, we will have to fight the battles of sin. We must face the dangers of the good things God has given, allowing the Spirit of God to help us bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Our family recently had a discussion on how God has made the world in such a way that in order for something to grow and flourish, it must be worked at and nurtured, even virtue. Christ redeems us, the Spirit enables us, and we do our part in building up the muscles of virtue and self-control. It’s not all pie-in-the-sky, good vibes, and tiptoeing through the tulips after we come to Christ. We have been set free, but the danger is still real, and the dominion-taking is not easy. We draw our sword, and fight, and learn. And when the dragon we are facing is too much for us and we fall, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and go at it again, becoming stronger along the way.

And such is the way God has written, and is writing, this fascinating story we find ourselves in.

In Christ we can utilize the amazing and dangerous power of the internet to bring good to the world, including the spread of the gospel.

In Christ we can take advantage of a free economy to earn dangerous wealth to use for the kingdom of God in the world and to help the weak and suffering.

In Christ I can use this dangerous smartphone in my pocket to easily encourage a brother or sister, keep myself better organized, or find immediate answers for repairing a leaky faucet or the best way to cook tilapia for my family.

In Christ we can gather around a dangerously large and delicious feast of food, acknowledging the Giver of all good gifts, and building one another up over a second slice of pie.

In Christ we can step into that most wonderful and most dangerous relationship we call marriage and build something beautiful in this world that will last for generations to come.

In Christ we can and we should take dominion of such wonderful, dangerous, beneficial things.

In Christ we can be set free from our own passions and lusts. For if the Son has set us free, we are free indeed.

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