Good Wednesday morning everyone. I pray today will be an excellent day for you. We are continuing with 1 Corinthians 10.
Here is a theme to live by:
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. v. 24
Paul has brought us back to the idea of the believers freedom with the very powerful thought that our lives are for serving others. Christianity is distinct in this teaching that we must always put others ahead of ourselves, as if we are the servants in the house of people who require us to serve them. Paul states it clearly that we should not be seeking our own good but instead we should be living in such a way that we seek the good of others. Paul goes back to quoting the local philosophy:
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. v. 23
The thing is we have this incredible freedom in Jesus to live life to its fullest, but we must live a life governed by love. Love says that it does no harm to anyone. So it doesn't matter how silly a brother is being about what he considers right and wrong, out of love for him we will govern our life in such a way as to cause him no harm. Again Paul writes:
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. vv. 31-33
So we have the freedom to do whatever we do as long as we do it for the glory of God. However, we can never be the cause of someone stumbling. This means that out of love we never put our own wants and desires ahead of the good of anyone else. The reason? That they may come to know Jesus.
This can be a very difficult thing for us to accept and live but it is exactly what we have been called to. The two great commandments, paraphrased, "Love the Lord your God with your entire being and love your neighbour as yourself", are the cornerstone of everything we do, say, think and feel. These commands alone should compel us to be the servants we have been called to be, as Jesus demonstrated for us. Maybe servants is not the politically correct term these days but it sounds better than slaves because that is what we are as well; slaves to the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
The Word says that we no longer belong to ourselves, we were bought for a price. But we were bought voluntarily. We offered ourselves as slaves to our Lord. We are no longer considered as slaves but instead as children of the Father because he redeemed us but just as Jesus took on the attitude of a seravnt so must we. We are here to serve and the first rule of serving is always to put the good of others ahead of your own good. Unselfishness is part of our foundation.
Considering our world and the shape of the Church I think more of us aught to be praying, "Jesus make me more like you." Only the Holy Spirit can make this transformation in us but we must desire it and seek it. Will you today change your desire so that you are no longer desiring selfishly but instead you are desiring transformation for the good of others, that they may be saved? "Spirit of the living God fall afresh on us."