How often do we consider the impact on others when we make a decision? I’m of course referring to decisions in our Christian life. A lot of times we ask ourselves the question, “Is this alright for me to do?” or we ask, “If I did this, would I be committing a sin?” But Christianity goes beyond what is right and wrong for you. Living like a Christian means considering your impact on others, as perceived not by you but by them. In the final verses of 1 Corinthians 10, Paul talks to the Corinthian church about exactly this, and gives them several examples of how to apply this to their lives. First, lets skip all the way down to the end of the chapter, where Paul gives the reason for verses 23-32.
1 Corinthians 10:33 “Even as I please all men in all things , not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”
So as we study verses 23 and so on, keep in the back of our mind that the purpose of why Paul is telling us these things, and the reason we do them is so “they may be saved”. In fact, we can add this to the end of some sentences for emphasis.
1 Corinthians 10:23,24 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.”
When this verse refers to wealth, it’s not talking about money. It’s telling us to do things which are profitable for others.
Let’s add the purpose to that verse just so we keep it in the forefront of our mind:
“Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth” “that they may be saved.”
Just because something may be alright for us to do does not mean we should do it. Our sins are forgiven and we are under the forgiving grace of God. But that is not the case for everyone. God’s forgiveness is not a license to do as we please. Some things we have a choice of doing are not profitable (as Paul phrases expedient). Some things are do not lift other people up (edify). When you decide on the questionable things of life, keep in mind that you live in a lost world, and people look to you for an example of what a true Christian is. Some things may be completely innocent but may cause some person to be further from the Lord. We need to avoid those things. Why? Remember verse 33 says, “…that they may be saved.”
Live your life as Christ; bring others closer to God with your life.