In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:11-14
The elementary school I attended wanted to expose students to arts and music as early as possible. One way they accomplished this goal was our 5th-grade band. During the year, every student tested out different instruments to see if one sparked their fancy. We all got a turn playing things like the saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, and violin.
As you might have guessed, the sounds that came from the band room were awful. When we played, all the dogs in the residing neighborhood would howl. If one had a choice between listening to nails on a chalkboard while babies cried or enduring our spring recital, no one would blame someone for choosing the former.
An instrument in the right hands can produce a beautiful melody. Their performance can stir something deep within us and move us at our core. On the other hand, an instrument operated by the wrong person can create havoc on our earbuds: the same device but vastly different results. The beauty of the song depends on the artist.
In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul highlights a decision that lies before each one us. We can be an instrument of wickedness or an instrument of righteousness. Our decision has ramifications, not just on us, but the people our lives touch.
A song plays in the background of our words and actions. The choice is ours whether the piece will be music to people's ears or cause others to tune us out. Being an instrument of wickedness doesn't mean we're playing a dastardly tune. It just means we're playing for the wrong audience.
When we live solely for our wants, desires, and agenda, we will always find ourselves offbeat. When we resist extending forgiveness, displaying generosity, and loving boldly, we play the wrong chords from what God intended. None of us is a skilled musician. An instrument (our lives) in our hands creates a lot of noise.
On the other hand, our lives in His hands becomes a masterpiece for the ages. People's ears will begin to perk up. They will tap their feet along to the beat. Something about the tune will move them to respond. If we humbly offer our lives to God, Christ can orchestrate a moving piece which crescendos with Him receiving glory.
What melody are you currently playing with your life through your words and actions?
What would it look like for you to be an instrument of righteousness today?
God, I put my life in Your hands. May I stay on beat with Your direction. May everything I do stir others towards Your grace and mercy. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.