1 CORINTHIANS 10:23-24 – “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”
THEME OF THE DAY: SAYING “NO” FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS. As Christians, there are at least two truths about our conduct in the world we are to remember and apply on a daily basis. First, we have freedom in Christ. The Apostle Paul would tell the Galatians the glorious truth that we are no longer under the bondage of the law and sin – For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). We are now to walk in newness of life that produces a life pleasing to God (Romans 6:4). The other truth about our conduct is that our personal freedom is not really for ourselves. Again to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul reminds us we don’t live for ourselves even in our freedom we have in Christ – For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
In today’s scripture, the issue of a believer’s freedom is being addressed by the Apostle Paul. Allow me to expand what he is basically saying, “Yes, there are things you are able to do. Yes, maybe the Bible is silent about them. Sure, you could go here, go there, watch this, watch that, surf the web here, surf the web there, read this, read that, and perhaps other things your heart desires, but remember, you don’t live for yourself, your pleasures, or your will. You died. You live for Christ and others. And also keep in mind before you do anything that might be questionable, other believers are watching you. Other believers might not be as spiritually mature as you. So be careful. What might be lawful, might also cause a brother or sister to stumble in their walk with the Lord. Better to tell yourself “no” for the sake of others.”
We must always watch our conduct with two thoughts, “Is this pleasing to the Lord?” and “Would what I am about to do cause a younger Christian to be confused?” Even if what we are going to do is perfectly legitimate before the Lord, always take in account other believers. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. So, don’t justify something just because we want to and can. Think of its impact on other Christians. But take it still yet to another level. It is an indication we are living under the control of Christ’s love by putting His interests, which also means the interests of others, ahead of our own. Ponder this truth in the following scripture as a fitting conclusion to today’s nugget . . .
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
PRAYER: “Father, help me to understand there are things I can do but should not do for the sake of weaker Christians.”
QUOTE: “The exercise of restraint isn’t just for ourselves but for those observing us as spiritual examples to them.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,