For God and Neighbor
God of grace and mercy, turn my heart from all that holds me back from the abundant life You offer.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:23-11:1
How do your decisions affect others?
Although Paul has been discussing whether the Corinthian Christians should eat food sacrificed to idols, he has limited his discussion to one part of that issue: eating sacrificial meat within the precincts of pagan temples. In this final section, he deals with the other part of the issue: eating meat in other locations.
Eating meat sold in the market or served in a home is not sinful. It is joining in pagan acts of worship that is the problem; the food itself is not an issue. The Corinthian believers are not to be concerned about the source of their food since it ultimately originates with God, as Paul points out (26).
Yet Paul does not give these believers carte blanche for their behavior. Rather, he provides them with three guidelines for working out appropriate conduct in whatever situation they may find themselves: Seek to glorify God (31), seek the good of others (32,33) and, if you comply with the first two, then you may do what you like. Note that seeking the good of others does not necessarily equate to doing what others want, as Paul makes clear in verse 29. These guidelines set the believer free to enjoy God, love others and embrace life.
Think of a situation in your life to which these three guidelines may be applied. How should you respond?
Jesus, You who gave everything for me, my life is Yours. My everything is Yours.
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