“Everything is permissible”- but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24 ESV)
The church in Corinth was struggling with their newfound freedom in Christ, and with that they were asking a question that Christians have been asking for years “What can I get away with and still call myself a Christian?”
Instead of giving them a nice little list of Christian rules, the Apostle Paul tells them they are not asking the right question. Instead of asking the infamous “How far is too far?” question, Paul challenges them to ask this question instead: “What can I do to benefit others? How can I intentionally seek to help others, even at the risk of some of my freedoms?” It is a totally different question. It is a question that can change our lives.
Ask yourself this question right now: How am I setting up other people to grow in their relationship with Jesus?
That is the heart of what Paul was saying to the Corinthians and it is still applicable to us. Yes, we have a freedom in Christ. Yes, we have the right to eat, drink and be merry. We even have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What would it look like if we were willing to sacrifice those freedoms to benefit others?
It is so profound that Paul uses the word “seek”, because it implies being intentional with your actions. When you played Hide and Seek as a kid and you were the “seeker”, you were very, very intentional at seeking (or else you weren’t very good!).
What can you do today to intentionally seek the good of others? What can you do today to help someone grow closer to Jesus?