TO SUM UP…
Father, may I find true freedom in You today as I bask in Your presence.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:23—11:1
The Believer’s Freedom
23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”
27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 11 1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectLook back over the week’s readings. What has struck you most from Paul’s discussion?
Paul comes to the end of his discussion about whether or not it is right to eat food offered to idols, and in these verses he summarizes that we are free—but not everything we are free to do is helpful to our spiritual growth. We have rights—but so do others and we should put their good before our own. In everything we do, we should be mindful of the effect of our behavior on other people’s faith, and on God’s reputation.
Our Christian faith is not a private thing, between us and God. The Corinthian Christians had only been considering “what is the harm to me if I do this or that?” Paul challenges us to consider what might be harmful and what might be loving to others in the choices we make.
The purpose of our lives is not to see how much we can “get away with.” It is to give glory to God and work for the good of others. And we are not on our own in this—we have the example of other more mature Christians, and the example of Jesus himself!
Read Hebrews 13:7,8. What is one way that you can imitate Jesus or your Christian leaders as they follow Christ?
As we try to live for God in the 21st century, thank God for the example of Christian leaders and of Jesus.