by Rick Warren — April 30, 2020
“‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.”
1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)
When deciding whether to allow something into your life, you can think of this as the Independence Test.
Ask yourself: Could this begin to control and dominate my life? Could it become addicting to me? Could I become dependent on it?
No matter how fun something is, it’s bad for you if it becomes an addiction.
Why is this so important? Because whatever dominates your life eventually becomes your god. The first of God’s Ten Commandments—says, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3 NIV).
God knew how easily you could slip into worshiping other things. He knew you could get addicted to your idols.
What are idols? You likely think of idols as something in the past—maybe little stone statues that people put on a shelf and worshiped. But people still have idols today. Maybe you worship the maker of your car, the label in your clothing, or the corner office in your building.
That’s not to mention all of the things you can become addicted to: Work. Sex. Money. The Internet. The list is endless.
How do you know if you’ve fallen into an addiction? How do you know if something is starting to dominate your life—when you no longer are independent of it? Ask yourself: What do I think about the most? When I’m alone, where does my mind go?
For most of us, it’s hard to be honest about the things that dominate our lives. If you’re thinking, “This is not what I’m addicted to. It couldn’t be that.” Guess what? It’s probably that. That’s probably the thing you’re struggling with.
In another translation of 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul says, “I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to” (TLB).
Paul decided not to let anything—other than Christ—control his life. Jesus is the only one that’s worthy of that place in your life, too. Anything else that you put in that place will eventually dominate and ruin your life. But when Christ is in control, he encourages, enables, and empowers you.
The next time you’re deciding whether something is in its proper place in your life, use the Independence Test. Christ is the only one who deserves your dependence.