We are a confused people. We think that being able to choose what is wrong amounts to the essence of freedom. We think that being instructed to obey what is right amounts to the essence of restriction.
Either way, whether in the 'liberty' of sin or the 'restriction' of righteousness, we are servants of the purpose that we pursue.
We are free to sin or free to obey… but we are bound to which ever we choose.
This is a tale of two masters. We serve the one we pursue.
Sin is a terrible master. What does sin care about us? Does sin treat us well? Does sin appreciate our work? Does sin cherish our unique talents or experiences? Does sin invest in our long-term benefit? Does sin lead us to life? Sin is a terrible master. Sin entices us with short-term gain, then takes advantage of us until we've been spent— and, when it has run its course, sin rids itself of us, terrorizes us with inhumane punishment, shackles us to it's clutches, measures us with disdain and division, and sucks the life from us.
Righteousness is a blessed master. Righteousness values us. Righteousness tends to our needs and treats our concerns. Righteousness appreciates our dedicated work. Righteousness champions our unique talents and enhances the depth and extent of our experiences. Righteousness leads us to a full, rich life. Yes, righteousness is a blessed master. Righteousness encourages us to our fullest potential and beyond— and then finds companionship with us, rejoices in our thoughts and actions, travels freely beside us in relationship, draws us into fellowship, and breathes life into us.
Romans 6:15-18 (TNIV)~ 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey —whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.