1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1
23 You say, “I have the right to do anything.” But not everything is helpful. Again you say, “I have the right to do anything.” But not everything builds us up. 24 No one should look out for their own interests. Instead, they should look out for the interests of others. 25 Eat anything 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 sacrificed to a statue of a god.” Then don’t eat it. Keep in mind the good of the person 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 is my freedom being 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 1 Follow my example, just as I follow the example of Christ.
I really am free! I worship the God who made it all and he has given me his world as a blessing. I can be thankful for all his blessings. But what is even more important than anything else, is that my brothers and sisters are built up in faith and thankfulness along with me.
So what might a more common application be today:
- I might have a new Christian friend who believes it is righteous to look after animals by being a vegetarian. I must not destroy their faith by arguing about this.
- I used to be addicted to computer games, so I don’t play them anymore. I must not take my hate for computer games out on Christians who are enjoying them responsibly and thankfully.
- I’ve never had any struggles with over consumption of alcohol and I’m very thankful that wine exists, still I must not let my thankfulness ruin my alcoholic friend. I would never even look at a beer or wine around him.
- I have learnt to moderate my love for sport, for others it may borderline on idolatry. How might I be setting and example that Christ is far supreme to sport?
- I hate chick flicks and struggle to give thanks for them. This does not mean my wife cannot enjoy chick flicks with thankfulness. And besides, I am so thankful for my wife, so maybe there is something to be thankful for in chick flicks as well??
“O Lord, please help me be thankful for all your blessings and be loving of others, even above loving my freedom”.
Written by Andrew Mellor