Decide What's Best, Not Just What's Good
“‘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” (1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV).
Some things are not necessarily wrong; they’re just not necessary. Most choices you make in life are not really a matter between good and bad. They’re more a matter of what’s best for you.
The Bible talks about this in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “‘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” (NIV).
Some things are morally neutral. To make a good decision, you need to go to a higher standard and ask, “Will I become a better person because of what I’m about to do?” That’s called the improvement test.
I remember many years ago when Kay was nursing our baby, who always got hungry about noon, so she would sit down to feed the baby and turn on the TV. What’s on TV at midday? Soap operas. So she started watching a soap opera as she fed the baby. Evidently, soap operas run into each other. One leads right into the next one. Pretty soon she was watching two shows, and then three. That’s a long time for a baby to keep getting fed!
After a while she said she realized she wasn’t doing this for the babies anymore. She was actually rearranging her schedule to make sure she could see those shows. She’d start thinking, “I’ll do ironing right now” or “I’ll clean up the kitchen,” and she’d make sure she was near the TV.
Suddenly she got connected to the lives of fictional characters. She became intimately interested in the lives of people who didn’t even exist! Then one day it hit her like a ton of bricks: “I am wasting my life! This does not make me a better woman or mother or wife. It has no redeeming value. I could be caring about people who do exist.”
Are you more interested in fictional people on TV than you are in Paul and Peter and the disciples and what God wants to do in your life? Do you invest your time in the shallow lives of people who fill celebrity magazines? Are you glued to ESPN from the moment you get home on Friday until Monday morning?
Are these things evil? No. Are they bad? No. But the question is not, “Is there anything wrong with it?” The question is, “Will it make me more like Jesus?”
Talk It Over
What are some activities or habits that are not bad but aren’t God’s best for you?
What can you replace those things with that will help you grow as a Christ-follower?
Is your idea of what’s best the same as what helps you become more like Jesus?
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This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.