a good day to bear in mind that not everything is good for you.
“You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’ – but not everything is good for you. You say ‘I am allowed to do anything’ – but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT
We all need guidelines for decision-making and Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is filled with sage advice on questions to consider when making decisions that may be sensitive or affect another person, particularly a Christian who is new to the faith.
Strengthening the faith of another believer should always play an important role in decisions we make. Paul sets the example when he writes, “I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10:33b NLT).
Paul gives instruction for introducing others to the Good News throughout his letter. He stresses the need for making the other person or persons feel accepted; making them feel equal; and exercising caution and sensitivity in our attitude toward others in order that we don’t come across as thinking we know everything.
Paul also stressed that while we have freedom in Christ, we should never place our freedom above that of another. This is a critical aspect of maturing as Christians. Far too often in today’s world, people living in a free society mistakenly think that their rights and freedoms come before that of anyone else. While we have the right to do as we please, exercising that right should never harm another person or deny them their rights.
As Christians, it is our responsibility to consider the effects of our actions on others. Our responsibility to others should be the most important thing to us – more important than our own freedom. God’s glory is the most important thing of all and everything we do should reflect that.
We need not become overly sensitive to what others may think, but it is a part of good Christian action to consider the feelings of others, especially those new to the faith.
Many of us can remember our nervousness as new Christians. There is a lot to absorb; a lot to learn; a lot to reflect on that can be almost overwhelming at first. For instance, if someone believes it is wrong to eat meat, don’t argue with them. If they are abstaining from meat to honor God, that is between them and God. It is our responsibility to listen, to support and to encourage new believers and doing so requires patience and consideration.
Doing something that is your right to do is wrong if it creates a problem for another person. This is just another way of reminding all of us to look out for others. It is what God expects of us, so it should be what we expect of ourselves.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson