“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. – 1 Cor 10:23-24 ESV
We live in a time where we get wrapped up in SOCIAL JUSTICE. We have put our PRIDE and our RIGHTS on the THRONE that can only be rightfully occupied by the KING of KINGS and the LORD of LORDS- Jesus the Christ! Paul is talking about IDOLS and about NOT being a STUMBLING BLOCK to our brothers and sisters. To MOVE from doing RELIGION- a set of RULES to be GOODNUFF for God- to a RELATIONSHIP with JESUS and with OTHERS- because of our relationship with JESUS. Paul tells us why we are to put others before ourselves. He tells us why we are to, at times, allow other people’s beliefs, GUIDE OUR ACTIONS: So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1Cor 10:31)
Leader, this is actually the second times Paul makes this statement; “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything”. (1 Cor 6:12) Now Paul is talking about sexual morality and goes into a diatribe about the HOLY SPIRIT indwelling our bodies- but again ends up with the same thought: put others above ourselves! Follow the continuation of the thought into Chapter 7: The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. (1 Cor 7:3-4) Put others NEEDS before your OWN RIGHTS- put GOD’s GLORY above the DESIRES of OUR FLESH!
Conduit, the Message Bible has a nice paraphrase of Paul’s point: You know the old saying, “First you eat to live, and then you live to eat”? Well, it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing, but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food or indulging it with sex. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body! (1 Cor 6:13) If you are a CHILD of the RISEN KING, if you are one of GOD’s CHOSEN SAINTS- set apart, then start acting like it! Quit focusing on the cares and concerns of this world and be about HIS FATHERS business! In Jesus own PARAPHRASED WORDS: My food is to do the will of HIM who sent me and to finish HIS work. My FATHER is always at HIS work to this very day, and I too am working. The works the FATHER has given me to finish testifying that the FATHER has sent me. I have come down from heaven NOT to do MY WILL, BUT to do the will of HIM WHO SENT ME. Be LIKE JESUS and put others NEEDS and JESUS’ WILL above your own selfish desires and your OWN push for JUSTICE. SEEK HIM and HIS JUSTICE!