A friend of our family’s is a professional athlete. As often happens with professional athletes, about a year ago he got hurt. The injury required surgery and that meant his contribution to his team for that season came to an abrupt end. Sometime shortly thereafter, his extended family was set to go to a destination wedding, however, he and his family didn’t join them on the trip. His reason for their absence was that although he couldn’t play the game, he was still under contract to the team, and he didn’t feel that going on a vacation while his teammates were hard at work was the right way to behave. He was technically free to do what he wanted, but for him, his commitment to the team superseded the freedom he had been (unfortunately) granted.
In the Christian life, we talk often about the freedom we have as a result of God’s grace. We’re no longer a slave to sin, no longer bound by the chains of evil, and this is a good thing. However, we need to remember that, much like our friend, our freedom doesn’t mean we aren’t under contract. While we are freed from destruction, we are now obligated to righteousness. We are free from the ultimate punishment of sin, but dedicated to the eternal blessings of Heaven. Our actions should be consistent with the commitment that we’ve made, recognizing that how we behave not only affects the team, but it affects the type of spiritual athlete that God is forming us to be.
May our freedom never be an excuse to take a vacation from the work God has for us, but instead, may it propel us to work harder still for Him.