Tuesday 20 August, 2013

1 Corinthians 10:23 -11:1

23 You say, “Everything is permitted.” But not everything is good for us. Again you say, “Everything is permitted.” But not everything builds us up. 24 We should not look out for our own interests. Instead, we should look out for the interests of others. 25 Eat anything that is sold in the meat market. Don’t ask if it’s right or wrong. 26 Scripture says, “The earth belongs to the Lord. And so does everything in it.” (Psalm 24:1) 27 Suppose an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go. Then eat anything that is put in front of you. Don’t ask if it’s right or wrong. 28 But suppose someone says to you, “This food has been offered to a statue of a god.” Then don’t eat it. Keep in mind the good of the one who told you. And don’t eat because of a sense of what is right and wrong. 29 I’m talking about the other person’s sense of what is right and wrong, not yours. Why should my freedom be judged by what someone else thinks? 30 Suppose I give thanks when I eat. Then why should I be blamed for eating food I thank God for? 31 So eat and drink and do everything else for the glory of God. 32 Don’t do anything that causes another person to trip and fall. It doesn’t matter if that person is a Jew or a Greek or a member of God’s church. 33 Follow my example. I try to please everyone in every way. I’m not looking out for what is good for me. I’m looking out for the interests of others. I do it so that they might be saved. 11 Follow my example, just as I follow the example of Christ.

What do you think freedom in God is all about?

As Christians we have freedom in morally neutral issues, but our behaviour must be balanced with concern for others in the body of Christ. Maturity means that our freedom is expressed for the spiritual benefit for others. When making a decision about something, ask ourselves, if we have the right to do it, if it’s OK, and will this build people up.

We should interact with non Christians, and we have complete freedom to mix with them. This is following the example of Jesus who ate with tax collectors and sinners. But if we are legalistic, self-righteous, self-protective Christians, our non-Christian acquaintances won’t want anything to do with us anyway. A life of freedom and openness, will attract them to Jesus.

Being mindful of others means that if we are with someone who thinks this is not OK, then be gracious and sensitive towards them. It’s a fine balance not to be controlled by what other people might think of you.

The way we live should reflect Gods glory. Our desire should be to both honour Christ and affect other people in how he lived. Let our lives be so attractive that others would be drawn to Jesus. Learn to be in the world but not of the world. Under grace we are free, but we should use our freedom to make good decisions, that is, one that pleases God, and is constructive to all. A good decision is one that reflects love towards God and others.

Lord, help me balance freedom and restraint. Help me to imitate the life that you led. Lord, I want to glorify You in what I say, what I do and in the attitudes of my heart.

Written by Cath Croft

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    I like what you have said Cathy!

    Normal I think of either freedom or restraint in my actions but I rarely think about the balance of both together, but that is exactly what is required when my actions are being observed by people outside of the church!

    Thanks for your insights Cathy!

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