Day 243: August 31 (1 Corinthians 10:14-33)
After the warning yesterday to be careful if we think we are standing strong, Paul reiterates an earlier warning to consider others today. The basic premise is the same – God’s ways are not our ways. We are self-focused to the point that we consider ourselves above God’s standards, while God is focused on others and is always willing to humble Himself for the sake of those in need of His love (which is all of us!).
The Corinthians had been saying that they could do whatever they liked – worship idols one moment and then participate in the Christian “love feast” the next (including sharing bread and wine in the covenant meal we call communion or The Lord’s Supper). Paul contradicts this view by pointing out that each activity is an expression of unity with the one validating the meal: demons on one hand, and Jesus on the other. Since Jesus came to vanquish demons and set us free from their influence, it is inconceivable that a Christian would embrace both Jesus and demons.
Anticipating the reaction “I can do anything I want,” Paul states again that not everything is beneficial; the Christian must decide – will I do what is good for me alone, or will I consider others before I act? This means that our freedom (which is real and given by God) will sometimes be restricted lovingly for the sake of others. If another may be led astray by my choice, I had better make the choice that avoids that, even if it temporarily diminishes my freedom.
Paul puts it this way: “I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.”
What a great motivation for giving up our “rights” and “freedoms”! Freedom used for selfish ends is really bondage to sin. How does God want to set you free today?
Have a great day!