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Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Remember that. Christian freedom doesn’t take priority over God’s love.

Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court. Proverbs 22:22 (NLT)

Exploiting the poor is the opposite of the love of God. Robbing those who have nothing is a double wrong. Exploiting the needy by taking them to court is unwise. The person who takes advantage of another in their deepest type of need is doing something evil and not at all revealing love to a sin-sick world.  Don’t be deceived, cruelty is not from God.

We’ve been given great freedom in Christ to live out His life in and through us. Jesus dwells in us and his life is literally our life now through His indwelling resurrection power. With great spiritual freedom comes great responsibility. It’s very common today for professing followers of Jesus to brag about their freedom and use it in extraordinarily close to sinful ways, many of which are not glorifying God. They seem to identify themselves more by their freedoms than by their death to self in Christ.

When you begin to speak to them biblically about the outcome of their freedom, about the stumbling they’re causing among the brethren, how they are not considering the weaker, the poorer, the needy in using their freedoms you’re sure to hear a familiar defense mechanism against you as they label you a “legalist”.  You’re too restrictive they say. You can’t tell me how to live out my freedoms, you’re sure to hear.

But the Bible does help us in learning how to use our freedoms. God does have insight (like in Romans 14) on the best use of our freedoms in Christ that will most benefit His Kingdom and His people. Jesus taught us how easy it is to become enslaved so quickly to sin again as we choose to present ourselves to unrighteousness.

One example is right here in the proverbs. Don’t exercise your freedom to rob the poor or exploit the needy.

Remember “Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you should.”

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