“My body, my choice, my rights”, were the words inscribed on the shirt of a lady who walked past me on a sunny afternoon. The words stayed with me as I could not but ponder on the implications of the message it conveyed for me as a Christian.
The world proposes to us a model for living that puts us at the centre of our existence. It tries to deceive us into thinking that we are autonomous beings who do not have to answer to anyone. So, in decision making and adoption of behavioural patterns, the choice of the person becomes the main stakeholder; not God or any other entity serves to modulate decisions and actions.
We, therefore, hear things like “so long my decisions hurt no other person and I decide to go for it, it’s fine.”
We need not strain our theological senses before we see that this idea is entirely foreign to the Christian ideal. The decisions of the believer ought not to revolve around him. The believer has been ransomed and bought with a price. Therefore, it isn’t just about his rights and choice, but about how it pleases God. The Christian narrative is that we find true freedom and flourishing in God’s ideal design.For the believer, it isn’t just about rights and choices, but about how they please God. The Christian narrative is that we find true freedom and flourishing in God’s ideal design. Click To Tweet
Let’s consider why we cannot be saved and yet choose to live autonomously.
The Christian narrative on the state of humanity and salvation compels every believer to live within the sphere of God’s directive. The bible describes how that all men were sold to sin and none would be justified by the works of the law i.e no one would be able to work their way through to eternal salvation.
While we were doomed for eternal damnation, God being rich in mercy sought us out and redeemed us. What is important to note here is that the salvation of mankind was not a necessity for God’s existence. He could have chosen to ignore the bane of humanity. However, he is rich in mercy. This reality is precisely the basis for our indebtedness and the necessity of a devoted life.
In addressing the spree of sexual immorality among the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul also appealed to this. He says:
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.1Cor 6:18-20
While we revel in the benefits of the grace of God – justification, and rightly so, for we must never lose sight of them, we must also not lose sight of the truth that we are a people indebted to God. This modulates our lifestyle, it informs our decisions, concept of modesty, values and norms etc.While we revel in the benefits of God's grace, and rightly so, we must also not lose sight of the truth that we are a people indebted to God. This modulates our lifestyle, informs our decisions, values, and sense of modesty. Click To Tweet
Let us also consider how the apostle Peter addresses the believers in exile [mainly jews] as he urged them to live a holy life as opposed to the gentile nations within which they were dispersed. He describes their redemption as a ransoming. And this he appealed to as he urged them to live holy. 1Pet 1:15-20
Therefore the believer’s stance on issues like sexuality cannot be based on how we feel, socioeconomic reasons or idiosyncrasies. All these must defer to the standards of God as seen clearly in scriptures.
The apostle Paul in another epistle urges the church to commit their ‘bodies’ to the Lord as a living sacrifice. Yes, a living sacrifice, left to the discretion of whom it is offered unto. That’s the normal Christian life, and we bear a responsibility to live thus.
We must be conscious of this. It isn’t my body, my choice, my rights. It’s my body, God’s temple. Therefore, our choices are only healthy to the extent that they align with his will. Our rights can only be founded within the boundary he has delineated for our prosperity.MY BODY, MY CHOICE, MY RIGHTS ❌ MY BODY, GOD'S TEMPLE ☑️. Our choices are only healthy to the extent that they align with God's will. Click To Tweet
Always remember, the Lord has not only saved us, but he has also redeemed us to be a people unto himself. …for you were bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body.