Everything is Permissible, but Not Everything is Beneficial

Everything is Permissible, but Not Everything is Beneficial

“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up. No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person. (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)

The phrase “Everything is permissible” was probably circulated among the new Christian believers who had lived under the yoke of oppressive religious rules and regulations but had now found freedom in Jesus Christ. Paul celebrates their newfound freedom but tags on two qualifiers: “Not everything is beneficial” and “Not everything builds up.” Again, one of the main issues the Corinthian believers faced was whether or not someone could eat meat offered to idols. Paul agrees that it is permissible to do so, for the idol is nothing and God has made all things good, but then he questions what such actions accomplish. He wants the Corinthian believers to do some deeper thinking, especially regarding others.
It is indeed a joy to live as a Christian believer. There is great freedom you can enjoy in the personal liberty Christ gives. But at some point, you will need to ask a wider question, “What does my liberty do for others?” You should notice that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that all authority in heaven and on earth was given to him. If anyone had freedom, Jesus did. But what did Jesus do with his freedom? He did not use it for his own pleasure but lived in service to others, even giving his life on the cross for our redemption. So, consider your life. How much of your time and energy is given for your own benefit and pleasure? How much is given for the benefit of others? Just make sure that there is some balance there. As you grow in Christian maturity, you may discover that you care less and less about how happy you are and more and more about the well-being of others.
Let’s Pray.
Lord Jesus, thank you for setting me free. Thank you also for the many joys of living as a citizen of your kingdom. But teach me more and more to follow after your example. Teach me how to use my time and energy for the blessing of others.