I CORINTHIANS 10:31-33: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Do I live my life for the glory of God? Do I think about the benefit of others with the choices that I make? Am I being sensitive to those who are weak in the faith, or who don’t know Jesus Christ, in everything that I do and say?
There are two important things to consider. First, there is the truth. Second, there is how we live out the truth in our life. The truth can never be compromised. Yet, how we live out the truth and how we communicate the truth needs to be tempered with the benefit of others in mind.
The church grabbed onto this idea as many began to follow a movement that was called “Seeker Sensitive.” The goal was admirable. However, the execution really did not work. The goal was to tailor the Sunday service so that it would not offend anyone who was seeking but not yet a believer. The result was a tempering of the truth to the detriment of all.
So, how do we boldly proclaim the truth and live with consideration toward others? Paul’s discourse in this chapter of I Corinthians deals with the practical expression of our faith in how we act toward others. Paul would never water down the Gospel. Yet, he would be willing to sacrifice his own personal liberties for the benefit of leading someone to faith in Christ.
The “Seeker Sensitive” movement missed the mark because it sought to adjust the worship and preaching of the church but did not address the personal life of the believer outside of the church. The adjustment needs to be made in the marketplace, not in the fellowship of the saints. While there must always be order in our assembly, there must also be the power of God. We cannot water down the Word or our worship!
What we can do is live sensitively in the marketplace toward others. This means that we are willing to sacrifice actions or activities that we have the freedom to do if we know that they will offend or provide a stumbling block to others. For the Corinthian church, this conversation revolved around eating meat that possibly could have been sacrificed to idols. Paul is clear, idols have no power or existence. Yet, they do to the weak person’s conscience. Therefore, Paul would not eat meat before a brother or a sister who did not hold this understanding and would be offended.
For Paul, the most important thing was the salvation of the individual. This meant that he would gladly lay aside anything that could become a stumbling block to the presentation of the Gospel. He would never lay aside the truth of the Gospel or the power of the Cross. Yet, he would gladly lay down any personal liberty or activity if it would help him share the truth with others.
How do we live out this understanding in our daily lives? We simply need to listen to others. We need to consider their thoughts and feelings. We need to exercise love over personal liberties. Jesus proclaimed – “…Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28 NKJV). We are called to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. We are called to serve others so that they may come to the knowledge of the truth.
Paul closes these thoughts with the following words.
- “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Our personal liberties always need to be expressed in order to give God glory!
Lord, give me the sensitivity and the grace to do everything to the glory of God. Help me to consider the welfare of others in all that I do and say. Let me never diminish the truth of the Gospel or the power of the Cross. Yet, let me lay down anything that would limit my opportunity to share these with others.
In Jesus Name!