1 Corinthians 10:23-33
“So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).
We come now to the conclusion of this section of Paul’s letter pertaining to FREEDOM. These final few verses seems to sum up all that he has said upon the the matter through chapters 8 to 10. All of life is to be lived for the glory of God… Now that is a hard task, but one worth striving for!
Sometimes it’s a challenging question when considering how one lives a life of freedom. Can I drink alcohol? Can I go to yoga or pilates? Should I be watch a particular movie? The questions goes on and on…
But Paul gives us some great guidelines for the living a life in following Jesus. We’ve come to see, particularly in chapter 8, that the Corinthians thought that their behaviour was predicated on the basis of their “head knowledge” and the “rights to do something”. Yet if that is the guiding principle, it’s generates pride and selfishness, because all it cares for is itself.
Yet Paul’s message is different. Rather than “knowledge” and “rights”, here the guiding principle is “love” and “freedom”, as they are ultimately concerned, not about the self, but about the other person (1 Cor 10:33).
Even the examples here in chapter 10 deal with the love and freedom centred on the other person. Here we’re given two examples of purchasing food in a market place, and being invited to another’s house for a meal. For Paul, both are seen as non-essentials in their own right, but restricted when it impinges upon another’s faith or upon giving glory to God.
These examples are sandwiched between two clauses if you like. One the one had, our personal freedom ought to be restrained with it does not benefit or edify another person. One the other hand, our personal freedom should also be restrained when it does not give glory to God.
These two clauses provide a good guidance for us as we consider how we live our own lives. Does this benefit and edify people? Does this give glory to God?