Line in the Sand

16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification (Romans 6).

The word “present” literally means “to place beside” something.  Paul adds the attitude associated with that standing, in that it is a willful act of servitude as a “slave.”  Two choices: placing oneself or standing there as a slave, either beside “sin” (verse 16), “impurity and lawlessness” (verse 19), or beside “obedience” (verse 16) and “righteousness” (verse 19).  These are the choices before us: to stand beside sin or to stand beside obedience; to stand beside impurity and lawlessness or to stand beside righteousness.  Which will it be?

In the end, our lives are not defined by the words we say, but by the choices we make.  And, in the end, no matter how they are veiled, the choices are always the same — either we will stand beside sin, impurity and lawlessness, or we will stand beside obedience and righteousness.  This is our choice this day and every day.

Every day a line is drawn in the sand, and we are asked on which side of that line we will stand — either on the side of sin, impurity and lawlessness, or on the side of obedience and righteousness.  Which will we serve?

Help us This Day, O Lord, to stand on the right side of that line drawn in the sand.  Help us to be “obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which [we] were committed.”  Amen.