Monday, April 5, 2010

Freedom to choose

2 Ne. 2: 27-29

27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;

29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

I was thinking about this scripture with the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. In Genesis 39:10 it says that "day by day" she asked Joseph to "lie by her or to be with her." This isn't just a story of a man resisting the temptation to violate the law of chastity -- it is the story of a man who chose resist anything, harmless in and of itself though it may be,  that would put him in peril of sinning. I think we sometimes justify wandering into what we see as grey area between righteousness and sin. The problem is, we start to think this means since we not choosing sin per say, we are not choosing "captivity and death." The fallacy there is that if we are NOT choosing to follow the Spirit and NOT choosing to do God's will then we are NOT choosing eternal life. We are in fact choosing to give in bit by bit. We are allowing ourselves to come closer and closer to captivation by sin each time we give in to the flesh. When Potiphar's wife grabbed Joseph's garment he quickly "fled, and got him out" because the strength of continual righteous choices was with him. If he had been giving in previously, to JUST "lie by her" (just BY her) or to JUST "be with her" (just WITH her) then what's to say he wouldn't have then be "captivated" and unable to flee -- because he had surrendered the power of his will to the flesh and therefor to the devil.

I am certainly not an expert at this. I know I have made choices in grey areas and justified them because they were not the sin itself. But I have also seen how those choices make it harder and harder to stay away from sin. I need the power to flee when the BIG choices come. I will choose to keep that power by trying harder to choose liberty in the small things.

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