1 Corinthians 10:23–33
Recently I had a short conversation with a highway patrol officer. It was on the side of the highway with cars rushing past.
In other words I was pulled over and given a citation for an expired license plate. I offered no excuses; there was no need to.
I was guilty and deserved the ticket. Some individuals, even when guilt is apparent, are quick to declare their rights and suddenly become experts in constitutional law. We all enjoy our rights as Americans, don’t we?
As Christians we are blessed with many freedoms resulting from Christ and His atonement. Our rights can serve as blessings, but we must remember these same rights do not have the final say in how we treat people — love does.
Love should carry the weight of our interaction and communication with others. We may be correct about our rights, but we will always be wrong if we choose not to love.
Do what is beneficial to others. (23–24)
If you will, visualize the nearest city to you that is considered a hub. It could be the city you are currently living in, or it could be many miles away. This city is probably marked by intersecting interstates and maybe a large airport.
In Paul’s day Corinth was a hub city. Everything a person could have wanted access to, one could find there.
As he wrote, Paul desired to remind them we may have access to all things, but not all things are beneficial to our Christian faith.
One of the true tests of maturing believers is found in their willingness to do what is helpful to others. Are you a giver or a taker when it comes to your relationships?
Don’t offend others unnecessarily. (25–30)
Maybe it is just me, but it seems since COVID-19 inflicted its damage on our world people tend to be more on edge and less hospitable than before.
These verses are a powerful plea when it comes to our interactions with others. The key theme to consider is the word “opportunity.”
We all look back on missed opportunities to share Christ or show love to others. Paul encourages the Corinthians to share the meal, eat the food, receive the fellowship and do it all for Jesus. He reminds them not to be so easily offended and to be gracious.
Do what gives a witness for Christ. (31–33)
Paul knew the eternal issue was not the food in our stomachs; it was the presence of Christ in our very lives.
Some people in the church you attend may never teach a lesson, share a sermon or lead in worship. However, there is one area all Christians have in common: their visible testimony.
That should compel each of us to take a personal inventory of ourselves and follow through with the correction needed. No one is perfect, and all of us need the forgiveness only Christ can give.
We should desire God’s presence and influence in our daily lives, and we should be eager to discover new avenues to share our faith with others.
A small wooden sign in the office of one my favorite professors read, “There are two great truths in this world. One, there is a God. Two, you are not Him.” Let us all agree on that statement and get busy reaching folks for Christ.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Brookhaven, Mississippi