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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of January 16, 2023

The way you become free from sin is by becoming a slave to righteousness.

Paul, in one of the most quoted verses of Scripture, makes clear that every person has sinned: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Indeed, your sins hold you so deeply in bondage that they bring death to you: you were dead in your sins (Colossians 2:13).

Every one of us was born a slave to sin, but God offers to free us from that. How? We can choose to become slaves to righteousness: When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. ... But now ... you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God (Romans 6:20,22).

In other words, your default human nature is to follow sin and to consistently choose sin. The way you break free from sin is by following God and consistently choosing God; that is, you become a "slave" to God (to righteousness).

One of the results of being a "slave" to God is being made righteous and holy: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). In other words, when we are freed from bondage to sin by giving ourselves to Christ, a transaction occurs: we are changed from being sinners (i.e., slaves to sin who occasionally mess up and do something right) into being holy ones (i.e., righteous slaves to God who occasionally mess up and do something wrong).

When this transaction occurs—that is, when you become a slave to righteousness—you are made holy, made righteous, cleansed, forgiven, and freed from all sin. Therefore, the way you become free from sin is by becoming a holy one, which happens by turning your life over to Christ and wholeheartedly following Him, thus becoming a slave to righteousness.

Not every good idea is a God idea.

What God may tell your friend to do might be a terrible thing for you to do. For example, say you start doing something because someone else says it is a good idea, but you find it a struggle. In that case, you may be struggling because God hasn't given you the grace to do what your friend told you to do. In other words, just because other people tell you to do "good" things, doesn't necessarily mean you should.

Furthermore, if God instructs you to do something, be assured that His plan is better than any other plan you could have. For example, God's plan for Jonah was for him to "go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it" (Jonah 1:2). However, Jonah didn't like that, and so he came up with his own idea: Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). To Jonah, running away to Tarshish seemed like a much better plan than traveling to Nineveh. But it wasn't God's plan. And so Jonah's plan failed miserably as will any plan that is against God's plan. Jonah ended up in so much trouble as a result of his plan that he realized he should have followed God's plan in the first place (Jonah 3:1-3). In short, Jonah's "good" idea was anything but a God idea.

In your life today, don't do what sounds "good" to you; instead, do what God tells you to do. Stop following "good" plans and start following God's plans.