What masters us?
Our Scripture reading comes from Romans 6:18, quoting from the NASB: “And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
By what do we choose to be mastered? Men and women who have committed to serve in the military might easily, if jokingly, identify the military as their master. Do Christian military personnel see this in a different light?
The entire discourse of Romans 6 is a liberating reminder that righteous living is part and parcel of salvation. Christian leaders cannot pursue both sin and righteous living. We must choose our master. Honestly, who would willingly be enslaved to anything? Yet, slaves we are to the voice we heed and the conduct we perform. A well-known scholar quipped, “People must be charmed into righteousness.”
Was Job charmed into righteousness? Satan mistakenly believed that God had allured Job into faithful obedience and blameless integrity. Even Job’s wife believed that God’s failure to protect his family and possessions were grounds for Job to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Job’s intimate friendship with God had made a new man of Job. He cared for widows, the blind and lame, the needy, the stranger, even the dying. Righteousness and justice were his clothing. Even in testing and loss, Job worshipped God (Job 1:20-21) and spoke the truth about God (Job 42:8).
Righteous living is the compelling response to fellowship with God. This brings me to my second thought. How do we as “righteous” leaders live out righteousness in the workplace? Thinking rightly about God puts leaders in a better position to do right. Job had shut the door on thinking or doing evil and had become a slave to righteousness (Job 2:3). He was free to live a noteworthy life free of compromise, even in devastating circumstances. His testimony to us is one of perseverance in the things of God in every situation.
As we practice righteousness, righteousness will become our nature, just as Christ is righteous (1 John 3:7). Leaders, may others follow your lead as you are mastered by right living.
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
- First, Are we tempted to compromise our Christian ethic and do what’s expedient (even if it’s wrong) to benefit from a deal that is too good to pass up? (see Nehemiah 5:15).
- Second, Are we careful to maintain godly righteousness in the face of shifting priorities and requirements? (see 1 Samuel 13:11-12).
- Third, Are we measuring ourselves according to the standards of Christian righteousness and Romans 6:18?