WHO MATTERS MOST?
Gracious God, in gratitude I praise you for your watchcare over me and the abundant life you have given me.
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.”[a]
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.
- 1 Corinthians 10:26 Psalm 24:1
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectLook at a newspaper or online news and find a situation where there is division because some believe others are acting against them. Consider what your response should be.
Paul begins with a Corinthian slogan, ‘I have the right to do anything’ (v 23), and then responds. His answer points us to the limitations on our freedom in Christ for the sake of others (v 24). In Corinth, a key question was about meat sold in the market, much of which had been offered in pagan temples before being sold (v 25). Equally, believers might find themselves at dinner with friends and discover such meat (v 28).
What to do? Paul highlights a central principle. Does an action help or hinder others’ walk with God (vs 23,24,32)? Meat is neither here nor there; it’s God’s good gift in creation (v 26). However, if it’s a problem for another, then, for that person’s sake, don’t eat it (vs 28,29). What will bring God the most glory in the situation? That’s Paul’s concern (vs 31-33). Paul himself offers them a positive model of service (11:1), contrasting with negative examples from Israel’s history (10:1-13). Are there areas of life where you need to change your behavior in the light of Paul’s teaching?
Write verse 31 on a card and carry it around with you this week. Let it remind you each day about Paul’s call to prioritize others’ needs and to do what will most honor God.
Patient One, my heart’s desire is to bring glory to you. I look to you for wisdom in my decision-making, so that I may bless and encourage others.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.