1 Corinthians has been making us think a lot about freedom.
One of the tensions is the fact that freedom is risky. How much should we give people freedom to make mistakes? Lots of us are formed by our experience of being part of youth work at church, where a priority is keeping young people safe, protecting them from the dangers of being sucked into a world that they are ill equipped to handle (though maybe equipping them should be more our priority than protecting them). We want to give people clear guidelines, black and white principles which very quickly become rules.
I remembered yesterday one of the experiences of moving from studying a subject at school to studying it at University. There was a moment at the start of our study when our lecturers would say ‘remember all that stuff you were taught at school… well good though it was, things are not as simple as that’. We had to unlearn as much as we learned in those first months.
I wonder should we have the same milestones in our Christian life. Moments when we say ‘Remember that stuff you were taught in youth group or Christian Union? Well good though it was, things are not as simple as that.’
Relating to God as adults requires us to own the freedom that he gives us, and that includes the freedom to make and learn from our mistakes.