“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 1 Corinthians 10:23
We often look for the line. Some rebellious ones love nothing more than to cross the line just to show they can, or don’t care what people think, or to be their own boss. But I’m guessing most of us tiptoe toward the place we can go just up to and still technically be “okay.” We live life close to the line basking in our freedom. It’s all about us and the most we can get out of life. We look around at others to see where they interpret the line to be, or how crafty they are at getting as close as possible to it.
But our thinking here is self-centered, and it does little to add true joy to our lives or glorify God. In so many different ways Jesus teaches us how to live radically different. To be the one to pick up the towel and water basin and wash feet at the table. To put the comfort and success of others ahead of our own. To love others more than ourselves. To use our time and talents and resources to build others up; to build the kingdom here on earth. But often we look at our time, talent and resources and spin our wheels trying to get the most out of them for ourselves. We put ourselves first. We make sure we are comfortable before turning our eyes to others. We seek to glorify ourselves. All the while trying to maintain “good Christian” status and not cross the line. And quite honestly, it is exhausting and unfulfilling.
We have beautiful freedom bestowed on us because of the blood of Jesus. A great many things are permissible to us…but, not all are helpful. Not all are beneficial. Not all are constructive. Just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean we SHOULD do something. Just because something is on the okay side of the metaphorical line doesn’t mean we have to slither up to it as close as possible. People are watching and even suffering a great distance from the line, and we are missing them. And as a result, they are missing God. Nobody wins.
Questions: What things are you doing, reading, watching, etc. that may technically be permissible, but aren’t beneficial? Are there things you can stop doing to grow stronger in your faith?