II Peter 2:19

“What masters a person makes him a slave.” (paraphrased) 
“By what one is overcome, by this he is also enslaved.” (Broadus Translation)
“A man is a slave of whatever overpowers him.”  (Moffat’s Translation)
“A man is a slave of anything which masters him.”  (Centenery Translation)

Although this has been translated in various ways, the dynamic practicality of this maxim shines through. The truth is obvious: what overpowers us will make a slave of us. Christians face the flirtatious glances, innuendos, humor and body language of co-workers at most workplaces today. Often such flirting is subtle. Off-color jokes are told around the break table. Christian women are often confused concerning just how to deal with men who proposition them on the job. Sitcoms and the moral corruption in these end times have caused many Christians to accept the almost total lack of morality in America as normative.

A person can become enslaved by something as well as by someone. The alcoholic claims he feels free when he is drunk. The hippie claims LSD has set her free. And while in bondage to sexual enslavement, those who flirt on the job do so in the name of “sexual freedom.”

Keep this verse in context. Peter is addressing the bondage of false teachers and how false doctrines lead to false lives. Believers must not allow co-workers to set their standards for them. Under the guise of sexual liberty, enslaved persons feel it is their obligation to drag others down with them. How does the Christian respond to conversation which can only lead to compromise and moral decay? John Milton was right when he said, “People cry for freedom, yet revolt when truth would set them free.” Only by submitting as servants to our Lord Jesus Christ can one really experience true freedom.

If you have been tempted to compromise and to respond to the ungodly behavioral patterns of fellow employees, you don’t have to remain enslaved. You have the freedom in Christ to simply not respond to all forms of inappropriate behavior. Those who have been filled with the Spirit of God have the Advocate who will guide them through such situations. 

Sinners often claim their right to choose lifestyles and forms of behavior. The Christian can do the same. One can choose not to move into the dangerous waters of flirtation.  By choosing not to participate, you can be “liberated from its bondage and decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).


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