In his first letter to Timothy, Paul says that the law is for “the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane…” (1 Timothy 1:9) He then lists several specific groups of people who would be included in that classification. Among those wicked people are “enslavers.” The NIV renders that as “slave traders.” For those who think that the Bible encourages slavery, this verse is a compelling argument against that notion.
Later in the same letter, though, Paul writes about those who are slaves. In doing this, he is not contradicting his earlier statement. Instead, he is simply dealing with reality. Their culture condoned slavery. He knew that. He also knew that some of those in slavery were Christ-followers. So he addressed their situation, about how they should act and respond in the midst of a less-than-ideal situation.
Let’s be honest. All of our situations in life aren’t always ideal. At least occasionally, we are forced to deal with harsh and difficult realities. Circumstances arise that we would rather avoid. But sometimes we can’t avoid them. Yet, according to Paul, we can still choose to live in a godly manner in spite of our circumstances. It is apparently possible.
Knowing that it is possible, the big question for you, then, is, “Do you?” You can, with the power of God at work within you!