God Doesn’t Care if I Steal
My friend Andrew once stole a candy bar from a gas station. He told me later that day, “Dude, it’s cool. Don’t worry about it, Jesus forgives me; he washes away all my sins.” That sort of logic is pretty hard to argue with, until you realize that Paul was dealing with the same thing.
I remembered this quote of his from Galatians “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).
The temptation to use God’s forgiveness as a carte blanche is an old one, but it’s dangerous and subtle. Stealing a candy bar might feel like living in freedom, but it’s actually living in slavery to your sinful ways. God’s forgiveness is a gift, not a loophole.
I was really mad at Andrew, I told him he was wrong, but when I look at the second part of what is written in Galatians, I’m not sure I see myself: “Use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
I may not abuse my freedom to justify stealing candy, but I’m not sure I use my freedom to serve those around me either. I’m often satisfied with not doing the wrong thing, even though I may not be doing the right things. As hard as it is to abstain from evil, it is much more difficult to step into goodness.