1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV) All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
As Believers and members of the Kingdom of God, we still contend with our fleshly desire to be accepted by our peers and society at large. There is this innate desire to want to fit into certain areas of life to the point that we are sometimes willing to compromise what we believe just to receive that acceptance. We even go as far as to engage in some behaviors that may not be altogether negative, but in the aftermath of the activity, we begin to wish we would not have done anything at all.
In today’s Scripture, Paul discusses the fact that some things may be permissible for us to do. However, at the same time, engaging in those activities or even how we engage those activities may not be very beneficial to our witness. Some may ask for examples of what Paul could be talking about. Here are a couple of ideas that come to mind:
- It is permissible for me to participate in a protest concerning an injustice that I become aware of, but it is not permissible for me to engage in destructive behaviors such as destroying someone else’s property as a part of my protesting.
- It is permissible for me to possess firearms under the law, but it is not permissible for me to threaten the lives of others because I disagree with their personal opinions.
- It is permissible for me to empower my community, but it is not permissible for me to verbally attack and destroy the reputation of another community in the process.
- It is permissible for me to watch television, but it is not permissible for me to view extremely violent, sexually suggestive, profanity-laced programming.
- It is permissible for me to agree to disagree in love with someone’s worldview, but it is not permissible for me to try to forcibly change the individual’s personal opinions through intimidation.
- It is permissible for me to engage in intimate, sexual behavior, but only within the confines of a marital relationship.
- In some belief systems, it would be permissible for me to have a glass of wine, but it is not permissible for me to become intoxicated because it would begin to alter my judgment and ability to make sound decisions.
Do you see my point? These behaviors have the power to consume us eventually to the point of them becoming habitual. Over time, they eat away at the core of who we profess to be as Believers. In everything we do, we have been commissioned to emulate the love of Christ, even towards those we feel may not be lovable. Such were many of us, but God still loved us enough to send His Son to die for us.