“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.”
(1 Corinthians 6:12)
Oh, there’s so much we could say about this short verse, but just think about this. A really, really simple principle that can apply in so many ways in our lives. There are things that are lawful but are not helpful. Things we could do but would not be best for us to do. This is so important that we think, not just can I do this, but should I do this? Not is it allowable for me to do this, but is it beneficial for me to do this? Those are two different questions. Both are important. If it’s not allowable, then yeah, don’t do it. If God’s law speaks against it, then we shouldn’t do it. That’s easy. But just because we can do something in a certain situation doesn’t mean we should do something in a certain situation.
Lord help us to live according to Your Word. May we be a people who value what is profitable over what is permissible.
We need to ask, is it beneficial? And not just for me, not just for me, but for others. There are all kinds of things that I have total freedom to do in Christ that may not be best for other people around me. We’ll see this at different points in First Corinthians, this is Romans 14 and 15, there’s all kinds of examples of this in the Bible where people have freedom to do certain things but even Paul in First Corinthians 9, will talk about how he lays aside rights that he has because it’s not beneficial for others for him to be using those rights. It changes our lives when we stop just asking the question, is it okay for me to do this? And we started asking the question, is it beneficial for me to do this? And we take that even a step further and we say, is it beneficial for others for me to do this? In a Philippians 2 kind of way, do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility. Consider others better than yourselves.
God, we pray that you would help us to live this way. To ask all these questions. Yes to ask what is lawful for us? We want to live according to your law, according to your word and where it says to do something or not do something, we want to obey. And as we ask that question, we pray that you would help us to then ask, is it beneficial for us? And not just for us personally, but it is a beneficial for us to do for the sake of others? For others’ good. Does it bring good to others, good to me, glory to you?
We pray that these would be our driving motivations. What brings most glory to you? What is best for others? What is good for us? God, please help us. Help us to live wisely according to your law, to live beneficially according to your law. Today, all day long, help us to make decisions that are beneficial. We pray. Beneficial for others, beneficial, yes for us, because we trust that life is found according to your word and loving our neighbors as ourselves and ultimately help us to live today for that which is most beneficial to your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.