Read This Week: 1 Corinthians 10

“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. No one should seek their good, but the good of others. – 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV

Life does not revolve around us and our desires. Learning and knowing this is so difficult, especially when it comes to serving God and other people. It is not a natural thing to realize that we were created to live for something outside of ourselves and that our existence should not center around our recognition and pleasure.

We are innate self-worshippers that desperately need help to look beyond our interests and live for God’s glory and the good of others. Without the Holy Spirit’s help, we tend to choose behavior that only benefits and promotes our agenda. But in His power, we are capable of honoring the Lord and positively impacting others in the course of daily life.

This denial of one’s self to live for God and bless others is what Paul is teaching in 1 Corinthians 10. He calls attention to the principle of enjoying our freedom in Christ while understanding our responsibility to honor God before a watching world. We are responsible for making sure the regular activity and tasks of our lives are shaped and guided by the desire to glorify God. We are also responsible for building others up in the faith and seeking their welfare.

For these reasons Paul wrote in verses 23-24, “‘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. No one should seek their good, but the good of others.” Simply put, we cannot glorify God in our homes, workplace, or the community if our actions, speech, and decisions are causing other people to stumble. Not everything that we can do, should be done, especially if we know it doesn’t honor God and will harm another person. It is not about us.

The message here in this passage is not a call to run away from life. It is not a mandate to avoid people and the enjoyment of the normal, permissible things around us. It is an invitation to be selfless and live freely and responsibly in our daily activities. This way, God is glorified and other people benefit. The final prescription is found in verse 31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

10 Comments

  1. Jeri Centers on January 7, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    I felt God speaking to me from 1 Corinthians 10 verse 13 this week. God is saying that the enemy knows where, when, and how to tempt us. If you are obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, you can learn to recognize the enemies’ enticements. Your success is never measured by how strongly you are tempted but by how faithfully you respond. You must ask for help from your Father and seek strength through the atonement of my Son, Jesus Christ.

    What that means to me is that God is faithful, trustworthy, and loyal. We can trust Gods promises that He will help us bear and escape temptation. There’s always an escape, another choice, another place to go, another thing to do. The Scriptures give us some keys to help us with our responsibility to avoid temptation so we can bear it.

    • Ken on January 8, 2020 at 6:39 pm

      Really good Jeri. Yes, God always makes away it out, it’s up to all of us whether we choose to take it or fall.

    • Jason on January 16, 2020 at 9:06 am

      This was so good, Jeri and something I needed to hear big time! This line was powerful and profound as we seek to live our lives for the glory of God: Your success is never measured by how strongly you are tempted but by how faithfully you respond.

      The temptation is inevitable but the response to it in faith is what determines the content of our lives and paths. God gives us the strength to respond in faith. Incredible word. Thank you!

  2. Samuel on January 8, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    As I read through this chapter, I noticed Paul is explaining to them that we should not put ourselves above others in order to gain favor for ourselves. Instead, we should put them first in order to gain favor from God. And as we do that, He will put us first in His eyes. It is not always for us to understand His ways, but it is our way to trust in Him and His true plan.

    • Ken on January 8, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      Yes, Sam. The greatest in the kingdom of God are the servants. So it’s up to all of us to give, give and give some more. No one can out give God.

    • Jason on January 16, 2020 at 9:12 am

      Thank you for this good word, Sam. As I was reading and re-reading it, the Holy Spirit was saying to me that if we deny ourselves and seek the will of God first, then we probably won’t have a problem serving others and seeking their good. The vertical connection always seems to take care of the horizontal connections.

      As you said, all we have to do is have faith in the plan even if we don’t understand it or think it is the best way. The Lord always works it for his glory and the good of others.

  3. Ken on January 8, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    When I think of what God teaches us that, there is no greater love than one who would lay down his life for his friends, I think that applies not just in death, but in life, Our life is not our own it was paid for with the ultimate sacrifice. However, we are called to give our life to others, our time, or talent and our treasures. How you get in the kingdom of God, is by giving. We get from God and we give the others. So I want to encourage you to not stop the flow. be a giver, be a server and be a lover of people, all from the divine source, God through you.

    • Jason on January 16, 2020 at 9:18 am

      This is good and uplifting take, Ken. I also believe that the connotation there is not just the laying down of one’s life in death but the sacrifice of one’s life for God first and the stewardship of one’s life for others. It is not our own and is meant for the glory of God and the good of others. The laying down of one’s life is the least we can do for the God who saved us.

      This line, We get from God and we give the others is, to me, the whole thing in essence. He gives, we give. It’s a beautiful “flow” and one that honors Christ and blesses others.

  4. Heidi on January 9, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    1 Corinthians 10 says, “So be careful. You may think that you are standing firm in your faith. If you think that, you might easily sin. All other people have the same temptations as you. God is faithful. He will not allow you to suffer a temptation that is too strong for you to deal with. But when temptation happens, God will also give you a way out. He will do this so that it does not defeat you.”

    God loves you and I so much that He knows everything you go through! He is right there to help us to grow in our faith. There will always be temptations in our life, but we have God to help us. We have to ask Him and wait upon Him to show us the way out so He gets the glory. Because we can’t do it or anything without Him!

    Sometimes, we just have to wait upon the Lord for His timing. We have to do it with Him so we don’t get caught up into something that is not God’s will. Seek Him and He will help you!

    • Jason on January 16, 2020 at 9:41 am

      I appreciate this insight, Heidi. Waiting on the Lord is so difficult and often the development of faith, endurance and patience are the things that are promoted in the wait. While these things are good and biblical, protection is something not often mentioned when it comes to waiting on God but is a valuable takeaway from a season of silence. Trusting in God and His timing can protect us from getting out of his will, falling into sin, making poor choices and negatively affecting our lives.

      This was a good line from your comment: Sometimes, we just have to wait upon the Lord for His timing. We have to do it with Him so we don’t get caught up into something that is not God’s will. God’s perfect timing is His will. As you said, sometimes we have to wait and it is perfect when we do. We are protected from ourselves and the things we can’t see that God knows and rules over.

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