“‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.’” –1 Corinthians 10:23-26 (NIV84)
We’ve all used the qualifying but. We’ve said, “That’s true, but…” and “I understand what you’re saying, but…” We use the qualifying “but” when we believe that something someone is saying is true but that they’re missing a certain aspect that needs to be expressed. That is exactly where Paul was in our verses for today. He had clearly expressed our freedom in Christ. He had stated unequivocally that we are free from accusation and judgment on many manners of practice because Jesus had truly set us free. But notice Paul’s use of “but” in our verses for today. He said, “but not everything is beneficial” and “but not everything is constructive” and, finally, that we should not seek our own good, “but the good of others.” Paul was telling us that we must be willing to enslave our freedom for the sake of others. Why? Because at the end of the day it is not about us!
Look at the last verse for our devotion for today. Paul said, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” That includes our freedom. Our freedom is not ours, BUT it is His. Our freedom then must be used for a purpose greater than ourselves. Our freedom must be lived out and expressed with the intent to further the kingdom of God. Ultimately, our freedom is not ours to express in any way we desire. Our freedom is limited to the parameters of the King (Jesus) who gave us the freedom.
We all know that the Son has set us free, BUT let’s use our freedom to glorify Him and further His kingdom!